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Deceived; they, fondly thinking to allay
Their appetite with gust, instead of fruit
Chew'd bitter ashes, which the offended taste
With spattering noise rejected: oft they assay'd,
Hunger and thirst constraining; drugg’d as oft,
With hatefulest disrelish writhed their jaws,
With soot and cinders filld; so oft they fell
Into the same illusion, not as man
Whom they triumph'd once lapsed. Thus were

they plagued,
And worn with famine, long and ceaseless hiss,
Till their lost shape, permitted, they resumed,
Yearly enjoin'd, some say, to undergo
This annual humbling, certain number'd days,
To dash their pride, and joy for man seduced.
However, some tradition they dispersed
Among the heathen, of their purchase got,
And fabled how the serpent, whom they calld
Ophion, with Eurynome, the wide-
Encroaching Eve, perhaps, had first the rule
Of high Olympus, thence by Saturn driven
And Ops, ere yet Dictæan Jove was born.

Meanwhile in Paradise the hellish pair Too soon arrived; Sin, there in power before, Once actual; now in body, and to dwell Habitual habitant; behind her, Death, Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet On his pale horse; to whom Sin thus began:

“Second of Satan sprung, all-conquering Death! What think’st thou of our empire now, though


With travail difficult ? not better far
Than still at hell's dark threshold to have sat watch,
Unnamed, undreaded, and thyself half-starved ?"

Whom thus the sin-born monster answered soon:
To me, who with eternal famine pine,
Alike is hell, or paradise, or heaven;
There best, where most with ravine I may meet:
Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems
To stuff this maw, this vast un-hide-bound corpse."

To whom the incestuous mother thus replied: Thou, therefore, on these herbs, and fruits, and

flowers, Feed first; on each beast next, and fish, and fowl; No homely morsels: and whatever thing The scythe of Time mows down, devour unspared; Till I, in man residing, through the race, His thoughts, his looks, words, actions, all infect, And season him thy last and sweetest prey."

This said, they both betook them several ways, Both to destroy, or unimmortal make All kinds, and for destruction to mature Sooner or later; which the Almighty seeing, From his transcendent seat the saints among, To those bright orders utter'd thus his voice:

“See, with what heat these dogs of hell advance To waste and havoc yonder world, which I So fair and good created, and had still Kept in that state, had not the folly of man Let in these wasteful furies, who impute Folly to me; so doth the prince of hell And his adherents, that with so much ease

I suffer them to enter and possess
A place so heavenly; and, conniving, seem
To gratify my scornful enemies,
That laugh, as if, transported with some fit
Of passion, I to them had quitted all,
At random yielded up to their misrule;
And know not that I call’d, and drew them thither,
My hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth
Which man's polluting sin with taint hath shed
On what was pure; till, cramm’d and gorged, nigh

With suck'd and glutted offal, at one sling
Of thy victorious arm, well-pleasing Son,
Both Sin and Death, and yawning grave, at last,
Through chaos hurl'd, obstruct the mouth of hell
For ever, and seal up his ravenous jaws.
Then heaven and earth, renew'd, shall be made pure
To sanctity, that shall receive no stain:
Till then, the curse pronounced on both precedes.”

He ended, and the heavenly audience loud
Sung hallelujah, as the sound of seas,
Through multitudes that sung: “Just are thy ways,
Righteous are thy decrees on all thy works;
Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son,
Destined Restorer of mankind, by whom
New heaven and earth shall to the ages rise,
Or down from heaven descend.” Such was their

While the Creator, calling forth by name
His mighty angels, gave them several charge,
As sorted best with present things. The sun

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Had first his precept so to move, so shine,
As might affect the earth with cold and heat
Scarce tolerable, and from the north to call
Decrepit winter; from the south to bring
Solstitial summer's heat. To the blank moon
Her office they prescribed; to the other five
Their planetary motions, and aspects,
In sextile, square, and trine, and opposite,
Of noxious efficacy, and when to join
In synod unbenign; and taught the fix'd
Their influence malignant when to shower,
Which of them rising with the sun, or falling,
Should prove tempestuous; to the winds they set
Their corners, when with bluster to confound
Sea, air, and shore; the thunder when to roll
With terror through the dark aerial hall.
Some say, he bid his angels turn askance
The poles of earth, twice ten degrees and more,
From the sun's axle; they with labour push'd
Oblique the centric globe. Some say, the sun
Was bid turn reins from the equinoctial road
Like distant breadth to Taurus with the seven
Atlantic Sisters, and the Spartan Twins,
Up to the tropic Crab; thence down amain
By Leo, and the Virgin, and the Scales,
As deep as Capricorn, to bring in change
Of seasons to each clime; else had the spring
Perpetual smiled on earth with vernant flowers,
Equal in days and nights, except to those
Beyond the polar circles; to them day
Had unbenighted shone, while the low sun,

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To recompense his distance, in their sight
Had rounded still the horizon, and not known
Or east or west, which had forbid the snow
From cold Estotiland, and south as far
Beneath Magellan. At that tasted frui
The sun, as from Thyestean banquet, turn’d
His course intended; else, how had the world
Inhabited, though sinless, more than now,
Avoided pinching cold and scorching heat ?
These changes in the heavens, though slow, produced
Like change on sea and land; sidereal blast,
Vapour, and mist, and exhalation hot,
Corrupt and pestilent: now, from the north
Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shore,
Bursting their brazen dungeon, arm’d with ice,
And snow, and hail, and stormy gust and flaw,
Boreas, and Cæcias, and Argestes loud,
And Thracias, rend the woods, and seas upturn;
With adverse blasts upturns them from the south
Notus, and Afer, black with thunderous clouds,
From Sierra Liona; thwart of these, as fierce,
Forth rushed the Levant and the Ponent winds,
Eurus and Zephyr, with their lateral noise,
Sirocco and Libecchio. Thus began
Outrage from lifeless things; but Discord first,
Daughter of Sin, among the irrational
Death introduced, through fierce antipathy.
Beast now with beast ’gan war, and fowl with fowl,
And fish with fish: to graze the herb all leaving,
Devour'd each other; nor stood much in awe
Of man, but fled him, or, with countenance grim

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