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And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw

The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on Into th' Euboic sea. Others more mild,

In confus'd march forlorn, the adventurous bands Retreated in a silent valley, sing

With shuddering horror pale, and eyes aghast, With notes angelical to many a harp

View'd first their lamentable lot, and found Their own heroic deeds and hapless fall No rest. Through many a dark and dreary vale By doom of battle; and complain that fate They pass'd, and many a region dolorous, Free virtue should enthral to force or chance. O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp, Their song was partial; but the harmony

Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of (What could it less when spirits immortal sing ?)

death, Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment A universe of death ; which God by curse The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet Created evil, for evil only good, (For eloquence the soul, song charms the sense,) Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds, Others apart sat on a hill retir'd.

Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high Abominable, inutterable, and worse of providence, forelinowledge, will, and fate, Than fables yet have feign’d, or fear conceiv’d, Fix'd fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute, Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire. And found no end, in wandering mazes lost. Meanwhile, the adversary of God and man, Of good and evil much they argued then, Satan, with thoughts inflam'd of highest design, Of happiness and final misery,

Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of Hell Passion and apathy, and glory and shame, Explores his solitary flight: sometimes Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy:

He scours the right hand coast, sometimes the left; Yet, with a pleasing sorcery, could charm Now shaves with level wing the deep, then soars Pain for a while or anguish, and excite

Up to the fiery concave towering high.
Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdured breast As when far off at sea a fleet descried
With stubborn patience, as with triple steel. Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds
Another part, in squadrons and gross bands, Close sailing from Bengala, or the isles
On bold adventure to discover wide

Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants bring That dismal world, if any clime perhaps

Their spicy drugs; they, on the trading flood, Might yield them easier habitation, bend Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape, Four ways their flying march, along the banks Ply stemming nightly toward the pole : so seem'd Of four infernal rivers, that disgorge

Far off the flying fiend. At last appear Into the burning lake their baleful streams : Hell bounds, high reaching to the horrid roof, Abhorred Styx, the flood of deadly hate;

And thrice three-fold the gates; three-folds were Sad Acheron, of sorrow, black and deep;

brass, Cocytus, nam'd of lamentation loud

Three iron, three of adamantine rock Heard on the rueful stream ; fierce Phlegethon, Impenetrable, impal'd with circling fire, Whose waves of torrent fire infiame with rage. Yet unconsum'd. Before the gates there sat Far off from these, a slow and silent stream, On either side a formidable shape ; Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls

The one seem'd woman to the waist, and fair; Her watery labyrinth, whereof who drinks, But ended foul in many a scaly fold Forth with his former state and being forgets, Voluminous and vast; a serpent arm'd Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain. With mortal sting: About her middle round Beyond this food a frozen continent

A cry of Hell-hounds never ceasing bark'd Lies dark and wild, heat with perpetual storms With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung Of whirlwind and dire hail, which on firm land A hideous peal; yet, when they list, would creep, Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems If aught disturb'd their noise, into her womb, Of ancient pile; or else deep snow and ice. And kennel there; yet there still bark'd and howld A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog

Within unseen. Far less abhorr'd than these Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old,

Vex'd Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts Where armies whole have sunk: the parching air Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore: Berns frore, and cold performs the effect of fire. Nor uglier follow the night-hag, when, callid Thither by harpy-footed furies hald

In secret, riding through the air she comes, At certain revolutions, all the damn'd

Lur'd with the smell of infant blood, lo dance Are brought; and feel by turns the bitter change With Lapland witches, while the laboring Moon Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more Eclipses at their charms. The other shape, fierce,

If shape it might be call'd that shape had none From beds of raging fire, to starve in ice Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb; Their soft ethereal warmth, and there to pine Or substance might be call'd that shadow seem'd Immovable, infix'd, and frozen round,

For each seemd either : black it stood as night, Periods of time, thence hurried back to fire. Fierce as ten furies, terrible as Hell, They ferry over this Lethean sound

And shook a dreadful dart; what seem'd his hea, Both to and fro, their sorrow to augment,

The likeness of a kingly crown had on. And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach Satan was now at hand, and from his seat The tempting stream, with one small drop to lose The monster moving onward came as fast In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,

With horrid strides; Hell trembled as he strode. All in one moment, and so near the brink ; The undaunted fiend what this might be admir'd But Fate withstands, and to oppose the attempt Admir'd, not fear'd; God and his Son except, Medusa with Gorgonian terror guards

Created thing nought valued he, nor shunn'd; T'he ford, and of itself the water flies

And with disdainful look thus first began. A. I taste of living wight, as once it fled

“Whence and what art thou, execrable shape

That dar’st, though grim and terrible, advance All on a sudden, miserable pain
Thy miscreated front athwart my way

Surpris'd thee, dimn thine eyes, and dizzy swum To yonder gates? through them I mean to pass, In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast That be assurd, without leave ask'd of thee: Threw forth : till, on the left side opening wide, Retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof, Likest to thee in shape and countenance bright Hell-born, not to contend with spirits of Heaven." Then shining heavenly fair, a goddess armid,

To whom the goblin full of wrath replied, Out of thy head I sprung: amazement seiz'd “Art thou that trailor-angel, art thou he,

All the host of Ileaven; back they recoil'd afraid Who first broke peace in Heaven, and faith, till then At first, and call'd me Sin, and for a sign Unbroken ; and in proud rebellious arms

Portentous held me; but, familiar grown, Drew after him the third part of Heaven's sons I pleas'd, and with attractive graces won Conjúr'd against the Highest ; for which both thou The most averse, thee chiesly, who full oft And they, outcast from God, are here condemn’d Thyself in me thy perfect image viewing To waste eternal days in woe and pain ?

Becam'st enamor'd, and such joy thou took'st And reckon'st thou thyself with spirits of Heaven, With me in secret, that my womb conceiv'd Hell-doom'd, and breath'st defiance here and scorn, A growing burden. Meanwhile war arose, Where I reign king, and, to enrage thee more, And fields were fought in Heaven; wherein re. Thy king and lord ? Back to thy punishment,

main'd
False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings, (For what could else?) to our Almighty Foe
Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue Clear victory; to our part loss and rout,
Thy lingering, or with one stroke of this dart Through all the empyréan; down they fell ,
Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before.” Driven headlong from the pitch of Ileaven, down

So spake the grisly terror, and in shape, Into this deep; and in the general fall
So speaking and so threatening, grew ten-fold I also ; at which time, this powerful key
More dreadful and deform. On the other side, Into

my hand was given, with charge to keep Incens'd with indignation, Satan stood

These gates for ever shut, which none can pass Unterrified, and like a comet burn'd,

Without my opening. Pensive here 1 sat
That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge Alone ; but long I sat not, till my womb,
In the arctic sky, and from his horrid hair Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown,
Shakes pestilence and war. Each at the head Prodigious motion felt, and rueful throes.
Levellid his deadly aim; their fatal hands At last this odious offspring whom thou seest,
No second stroke intend ; and such a frown Thine own begotten, breaking violent way
Each cast at the other, as when two black clouds, Tore through my entrails, that with fear and pair.
With Heaven's artillery fraught, come rattling on Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
Over the Caspian, then stand front to front, Transform'd: but he

my
inbred

enemy
Hovering a space, till winds the signal blow Forth issued, brandishing his fatal dart
To join their dark encounter in mid air: Made to destroy! I fled, and cried out Death!
So frown'd the mighty combatants, that Hell Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sigh'd
Grew darker at their frown; so match'd they stood; From all her caves, and back resounded Death!
For never but once more was either like I fled, but he pursued, (though more, it seems,
To meet so great a foe: and now great deeds Inflam'd with lust than rage,) and, swifter far,
Had been achiev'd, whereof all Hell had rung, Me overtook his mother all dismaydi,
Had not the snaky sorceress, that sat

And in embraces forcible and foul Fast by Hell-gate, and kept the fatal key, Engendering with me, of that rape begot Ris'n, and with hideous outcry rush'd between. These yelling monsters, that with ceaseless cry

"O father, what intends thy hand,” she cried, Surround me, as thou saw'st, hourly conceiv'd “Against thy only son? What fury, O son, And hourly born, with sorrow infinite Possesses thee to bend that mortal dart

To me; for, when they list, into the womb
Against thy father's head ? and know'st for whom? That bred them they return, and howl and gnaw
For him who sits above and laughs the while My bowels, their repast; then bursting forth
At thee ordain'd his drudge, to execute

Afresh with conscious terrors vex me round,
Whate'er his wrath, which he calls justice, bids; That rest or intermission none I find.
His wrath, which one day will destroy ye both.” Before mine eyes in opposition sits

She spake, and at her words the hellish pest Grim Death, my son and foo; who sets them on, Forbore ; then these to her Satan return'd. And me his parent would full soon devour

“So strange thy outcry, and thy words so strange For want of other prey, but that he knows Thou interposest, that my sudden hand, His end with mine involv'd; and knows that I Prevented, spares to tell ihee yet hy deeds Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane, What it intends; till first I know of thee, Whenever that shall be; so Fate pronounc'd. What thing thou art, thus double-form'd; and why But thou, O father, I forewarn thee, shun In this infernal vale first met, thou call'st His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope Me father, and that phantasm call'st my son: To be invulnerable in those bright arms, I know thee not, nor ever saw till now

Though temper'd heavenly; for that mortal dint, Sight more detestable than him and thee.” Save he who reigns above, none can resist."

To whom thus the portress of Hell-gate replied, She finish'd; and the subtle fiend his lore * Hast thou forgot me then, and do I seem Soon learn'd, now milder, and thus answer'd smooth Now in thine eye so foul? once deem'd so fair “Dear daughter, since thou claim'st me for thy In Heaven, when at the assembly, and in sight

sire, Of all the seraphim with thee combin'd

And my fair son here show'st me, the dear pledgo In bold conspiracy 'gainst. Heaven's King, Of dalliance had with thee in Heaven, and joye

a

Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire change So wide they stood, and like a furnace mouth
Befall'n us, unforeseen, unthought of; know, Cast forth redounding smoke and ruddy flame.
I come no enemy, but to set free

Before their eyes in sudden view appear
From out this dark and dismal house of pain The secrets of the hoary deep; a dark
Both him and thee, and all the heavenly host Illimitable ocean, without bound,
Of spirits, that, in our just pretences arm'd, Without dimension, where length, breadth, and
Fell with us from on high: from them I go

height,
This uncouth errand sole ; and one for all And time, and place, are lost; where eldest Nighi
Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread

And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold
The unsounded deep, and through the void immense Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise
To search with wondering quest a place foretold Of endless wars, and by confusion stand.
Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now For Hot, Cold, Moist, and Dry, four champions
Created vast and round, a place of bliss

fierce,
In the purlieus of Heaven, and therein plac'd Strive here for mastery, and to battle bring
A race of upstart creatures, to supply

Their embryon atoms; they around the flag
Perhaps our vacant room; though more remov'd, Of each his faction, in their several clans,
Lest Heaven, surcharg‘d with potent multitude, Light-arm’d or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or slow
Might hap to move new broils. Be this or aught Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the sands
Than this more secret now design'd, I haste of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil,
To know; and, this once known, shall soon return, Levied to side with warring winds, and poise
And bring ye to the place where thou and Death Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere
Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen He rules a moment: Chaos umpire sits,
Wing silently the buxom air, imbalm'd

And by decision more embroils the fray
With odors: there ye shall be fed and fill'd By which he reigns: next him high arbiter
Immeasurably; all things shall be your prey.” Chance governs all. Into this wild abyss,
He ceas'd, for both seem'd highly pleas'd, and The womb of Nature, and perhaps her grave,
Death

Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
Grinn'd horrible a ghastly smile, to hear

But all these in their pregnant causes mix'd
His famine should be fillid; and blest his maw Confus’dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoic'd Unless the Almighty Maker them ordain
His mother bad, and thus bespake her sire. His dark materials to create more worlds ;
“The key of this infernal pit by due,

Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
And by command of Heaven's all-powerful King, Slood on the brink of Hell, and look’d a while.
I keep, by him forbidden to unlock

Pondering his voyage: for no narrow frith
These adamantine gates ; against all force

He had to cross. Nor was his ear less peal'd Death ready stands to interpose his dart,

With noises loud and ruinous, (to compare Fearless to be o’ermatch'd by living might. Great things with small,) that when Bellona storms But what owe I to his commands above

With all her battering engines bent to rase Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down Some capital city; or less than if this frame Into this gloom of Tartarus profound,

Of Heaven were falling, and these elements
To sit in hateful office here confin'd,

In mutiny had from her axle lorn
Inhabitant of Heaven, and heavenly-born, The stedfast Earth. At last his sail-broad vans
Here in perpetual agony and pain,

He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke
With terrors and with clamors compass'd round Uplifted spurns the ground; thence many a league,
Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed ? As in a cloudy chair, ascending rides
Thou art my father, thou my author, thou Audacious; but, that seat soon failing, meets
My being gav’st me; whom should I obey A vast vacuity: all unawares
But thee? whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon Fluttering his pennons vain, plumb down he drops
To that new world of light and bliss, among Ten thousand fathoms deep; and to this hour
The gods who live at ease, where I shall reign Down had been falling, had not by ill chance
At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems The strong rebuff of some tumultuous cloud,
Thy daughter and thy darling, without end.” Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him

Thus saying, from her side the fatal key, As many miles aloft: that fury stay'd,
Sad instrument of all our woe, she took ;

Quench'd in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea,
And, towards the gate rolling her bestial train, Nor good dry land : nigh founder'd on he fares,
Forth with the huge portcullis high up-drew, Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
Which but herself, not all the Stygian powers Half flying; behoves him now both oar and sail.
Could once have mov'd; then in the key-hole As when a gryphon, through the wilderness

With winged course, o'er hill or moory dale,
The intricate wards, and every bolt and bar Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth
Of massy iron or solid rock with ease

Had from his wakeful custody purloin'd
Unfastens. On a sudden open fly

The guarded gold: so eagerly the fiend
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound O'er bog, or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or
The infernal doors, and on their hinges grate

rare,
Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way
Of Erebus. She open'd, but to shut

And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies;
Excell’d her power; the gates wide open stood, At length a universal hubbub wild
That with extended wings a banner'd host, Of stunning sounds, and voices all confus'd,
Under spread ensigns marching, might pass through Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his ear
With horse and chariots rank'd in loose array; With loudest vehemence: thither he plies,

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turns

Undaunted to meet there whatever power Movid on, with difficulty and labor he;
Or spirit of the nethermost abyss

But, he once pasi, soon after, when man fell,
Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain
Which way the nearest coast of darkness lies Following his track, such was the will of Heaven,
Bordering on light; when straight behold the Pav’d after him a broad and beaten way
throne

Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread

Tamely endur'd a bridge of wondrous length, Wide on the wasteful deep: with him enthron'd From Hell continued reaching the utmost orb Sat sable-vested Night, eldest of things, of this frail world ; by which the spirits perverse The consort of his reign; and by them stood With easy intercourse pass to and fro Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name

To tempt or punish mortals, except whom Of Demogorgon! Rumor next and Chance, God, and good angels, guard by special grace. And Tunult and Confusion all embroil'd,

But now at last the sacred influence And Discord with a thousand various mouths. Of light appears, and from the walls of Heaven To whom Satan turning boldly, thus : “ Ye powers Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night And spirits of this nethermost abyss,

A glimmering dawn: here Nature first begins Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy,

Her farthest verge. and Chaos to retire With purpose to explore or to disturb

As from her outmost works a broken foe The secrets of your realm; but, by constraint With tumult less, and with less hostile din, Wandering this darksome desert, as my way That Satan with less toil, and now with ease Lies through your spacious empire up to light, Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light, Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds What readiest path leads where your gloomy bounds Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn; Confine with Heaven; or if some other place, Or in the emptier waste, resembling air, From your dominion won, the ethereal King Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold Possesses lately, thither to arrive

Far off the empyreal Heaven, extended wide I travel this profound : direct my course; In circuit, undetermin'd square or round, Directed, no mean recompense it brings With opal towers and battlements adorn'd To your behoof, if I that region lost,

of living sapphire, once his native seat; All usurpation thence expellid, reduce

And fast by, hanging in a golden chain, To her original darkness, and your sway,

This pendent world, in bigness as a star
(Which is my present journey) and once more Of smallest magnitude close by the Moon.
Erect the standard there of ancient Night: Thither, full fraught with mischievous revenge,
Yours be the advantage all, mine the revenge." Accurs'd, and in a cursed hour he hies.

Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old,
With faltering speech and visage incompos’d,
Answer'd. “I know thee, stranger, who thou art,

BOOK III.
That mighty leading angel, who of late
Made head against Heaven's King, though over-

THE ARGUMENT.
thrown.
I saw and heard : for such a numerous host God, sitting on his throne, sees Satan flying to-
Fled not in silence through the frighted deep, wards this world, then newly created ; shows
With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,

him to the Son, who sat at his right hand; Confusion worse confounded ; and Heaven-gates foretells the success of Satan in perverting Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands mankind; clears his own justice and wisdom Pursuing. I upon my frontiers here

from all imputation, having created Man free, Keep residence: if all I can will serve

and able enough to have withstood his tempter; That little which is left so to defend,

yet declares his purpose of grace towards him, Encroach'd on still through your intestine broils in regard he fell not of his own malice, as did Weakening the sceptre of old Night: first Hell, Satan, but by him seduced. The Son of God Your dungeon, stretching far and wide beneath ; renders praises to his father for the manifestNow lately Heaven and Earth, another world, ation of his gracious purpose towards Man: Hung o'er my realm, link'd in a golden chain but God again declares, that grace cannot be To that side Heaven from whence your legions extended towards Man without the satisfaction fell:

of divine justice: Man hath offended the maIf that way be your walk, you have not far; jesty of God by aspiring to godhead, and thereSo much the nearer danger; go, and speed; fore, with all his progeny, devoted to death, must Havoc, and spoil, and ruin, are my gain."

die, unless some one can be found sufficient to He ceas'd; and Satan staid not to reply,

answer for his offence, and undergo his punishBut, glad that now his sea should find a shore,

The Son of God freely offers himself a With fresh alacrity, and force renew'd,

ransom for Man: the Father accepts him, or. Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire,

dains his incarnation, pronounces his exaltation Into the wild expanse, and, through the shock above all names in Heaven and Earth ; com. Of fighting elements, on all sides round

mands all the angels to adore him: They obey, Environ'd, wins his way; harder beset

and hymning to their harps in full quire, celebrate And more endanger'd, than when Argo pass'd the Father and the Son. Meanwhile Satan Through Bosporus, betwixt the justling rocks! alights upon the bare convex of this world's Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunnid

outermost orb; where wandering, he first finds a Charybdis, and by the other whirlpool steer'd. place, since called the Limbo of Vanity: what So be with difficulty and labor hara

persons and things Ay up thither : thence comes

ment.

to the gate of Heaven, described ascending by About him all the sanctities of Heaven stairs, and the waters above the firmament that Stood thick as stars, and from his sight received flow about it: his passage thence to the orb of Beatitude past utterance; on his right the Sun; he finds there Uriel, the regent of that The radiant image of his glory sat, orb, but first changes himself into the shape of His only Son; on earth he first beheld a meaner angel; and, pretending a zealous desire Our two first parents, yet the only two to behold the new creation, and Man whom of mankind, in the happy garden plac'd, God had placed here, inquires of him the place Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love, of his habitation, and is directed: alights first on Uninterrupted joy, unrivall'd love, mount Niphates.

In blissful solitude; he then survey'd

Hell and the gulf between, and Satan there Hail, holy Light, offspring of Heaven, first-born, Coasting the wall of Heaven on this side Night Or of the Eternal coeternal beam

In the dun air sublime, and ready now May I express thee unblam’d? since God is light, To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet, And never but in unapproached light

On the bare outside of this world, that seem'd Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,

Firm land imbosom'd without firmament,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate. Uncertain which, in ocean or in air.
Or hear'st thou rather, pure ethereal stream, Him God beholding from his prospect high,
Whose fountain who shall tell ? Before the Sun, Wherein past, present, future, he beholds,
Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice Thus to his only Son foreseeing spake.
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest

“Only begotten Son, seest thou what rage The rising world of waters dark and deep, Transports our adversary? whom no bounds Won from the void and formless infinite.

Prescrib'd, no bars of Hell, nor all the chains Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,

Heap'd on him there, nor yet the main abyss Escap'd the Stygian pool, though long detain'd Wide interrupt, can hold; so bent he seems In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight On desperate revenge, that shall redound Through utter and through middle darkness borne, Upon his own rebellious head. And now, With other notes than to the Orphéan lyre, Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way I sung of Chaos and eternal Night;

Not far off Heaven, in the precincts of light, Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down Directly towards the new-created world, The dark descent, and up to reascend,

And Man there plac'd, with purpose to essay Though hard and rare : thee I revisit safe, If him by force he can destroy, or, worse, And feel thy sovran vital lamp; but thou By some false guile pervert; and shall pervert; Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain For Man will hearken to his glozing lies To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn; And easily transgress the sole command, So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs, Sole pledge of his obedience : so will fall Or dim suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more He and his faithless progeny. Whose fault? Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill, All he could have; I made him just and right, Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall. Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath, Such I created all the ethereal powers That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow, And spirits, both them who stood, and them who Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget Those other two equall'd with me in fate, Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell. So were I equalld with them in renown,

Not free, what proof could they have given sincero Blind Thamyris, and blind Mæonides,

or true allegiance, constant faith, or love, And Tiresias, and Phineus, prophets old : Where only what they needs must do appear'd, Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move Not what they would ? what praise could they ro Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird

ceive? Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid What pleasure I from such obedience paid, Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year When will and reason (reason also is choice) Seasons return; but not to me returns

Useless and vain, of freedom both despoil'd, Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn, Made passive both, had serv'd necessity, Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, Not me? They therefore, as to right belong'd, Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine ; So were created, nor can justly accuse But cloud instead, and ever-during dark Their maker, or their making, or their fate, Surrounds me, from the cheersul ways of men As if predestination over-rul'd Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair Their will, dispos’d by absolute decree Presented with a universal blank

Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreerd Of Nature's works to me expung'd and ras'd, Their own revolt, not I; if I foreknew, And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out. Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault, So much the rather thou, celestial Light,

Which had no less prov'd certain unforeknown. Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers So without least impúlse or shadow of fate, Irradiate; there plant eyes, all mist from thence Or aught by me immutably foreseen, Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell They trespass, authors to themselves in all Of things invisible to mortal sight.

Both what they judge, and what they choose. Now had the Almighty Father from above, From the pure empyréan where he sits

I form’d them free: and free they must remain, High thron'd above all height, bent down his eye Till they enthral themselves ; I else must change His own works and their works at once to view: Their nature, and revoke the high decree

fail'd ;

for so

:

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