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Glared lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among the accursed, that wither'd all their strength,
And of their wonted vigor left them drain’d, 851
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen.
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd
His thunder in mid volley; for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of Heaven:

The overthrown he raised; and, as a herd
Of goats or timorous flock together throng'd,
Drove them before him thunderstruck, pursued
With terrors, and with furies, to the bounds
And crystal wall of Heaven: which, opening wide, 860
Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclosed
Into the wasteful deep: the monstrous sight
Struck them with horror backward, but far worse
Urged them behind: headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge of Heaven; eternal wrath 865
Burn'd after them to the bottomless pit.

Hell heard the unsufferable noise, Hell saw Heaven running from Heaven, and would have fled Affrighted; but strict Fate had cast too deep Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound. 870 Nine days they fell: confounded Chaos roarid, And felt tenfold confusion in their fall Through his wild anarchy, so huge a rout Encumber'd him with ruin: Hell at last Yawning received them whole, and on them closed; Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire

876 Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain. Disburden's Heaven rejoiced and soon repair'd Her mural breach, returning whence it rollid. Sole victor, from the expulsion of his foes,

880 Messiah his triumphal chariot turn’d: To meet him all his Saints, who silent stood Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts, With jubilee advanced; and, as they went,

Shaded with branching palm, each Order bright
Sung triumph, and him sung victorious King,
Son, Heir, and Lord, to him dominion given,
Worthiest to reign: He, celebrated, rode
Triumphant through mid Heaven, into the courts
And temple of his Mighty Father throned

On high; who into glory him received,
Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss.
Thus, measuring things in Heaven by things on Earth
At thy request, and that thou mayst beware
By what is pass’d, to thee I have reveal'd

895 What might have else to human race been hid; The discord which befel, and war in Heaven Among the angelic Powers, and the deep fall Of those too high aspiring, who rebell’d With Satan; he who envies now thy state, 900 Who now is plotting how he may seduce Thee also from obedience, that, with him Bereaved of happiness, thou mayst partake His punishment, eternal misery; Which would be all his solace and revenge, 905 As a despite done against the Most High, Thee once to gain companion of his woe. But listen not to his temptations, warn Thy weaker: let it profit thee to have heard, By terrible example, the reward

910 Of disobedience; firm they might have stood, Yet fell; remember, and fear to transgress.



Raphael, at the request of Adam, relates how and wherefore this world

was first created; that God, after the expelling of Satan and his Angels out of Heaven, declared his pleasure to create another world, and other creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with glory and attendance of Angels to perform the work of Creation in six days: the Angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and his reascension into Ilta




DESCEND from Heaven, Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art call’d, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the flight of Pegasean wing!
The meaning, not the name, I call: for thou
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwell'st; but heavenly born,
Before the hills appear’d or fountain flow'd,
Thou with eternal Wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play
In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased
With thy celestial song. Up led by thee
Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presumed,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy tempering: with like safety guided down,
Return me to my native element:
Lest from this flying steed unrein'd (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime,)
Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall,
Erroneous there to wander, and forlorn.
Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound
Within the visible diurnal sphere;
Standing on earth, not wrapp'd above the pole,



More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchanged
To hoarse or mute, though fallen on evil days, 25
On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues;
In darkness, and with dangers compass'd round,
And solitude: yet not alone, while thou
Visit’st my slumbers nightly, or when morn
Purples the east: still govern thou my song,

Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race
Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears 35
To rapture, till the savage clamor drown'd
Both harp and voice; nor could the Muse defend
Her son.

So fail not thou, who thee implores: For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream.

Say, Goddess, what ensued when Raphael, 40 The affable Archangel, had forewarn’d Adam, by dire example, to beware A postacy, by what befel in Heaven To those apostates: lest the like befal In Paradise to Adam or his race,

45 Charged not to touch the interdicted tree, If they transgress, and slight that sole command, So easily obey'd amid the choice Of all tastes else to please their appetite, Though wandering. He, with his consort Eve, 50 The story heard attentive, and was fill'd With admiration and deep muse, to hear Of things so high and strange; things, to their thought So unimaginable, as hate in heaven, And war so near the peace of God in bliss, 55 With such confusion: but the evil, soon Driven back, redounded as a flood on those From whom it sprang; impossible to mix With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal'd


The doubts that in his heart arose: and now 60
Led on, yet sinless with desire to know
What nearer might concern him, how this world
Of Heaven and Earth conspicuous first began;
When, and whereof created; for what cause;
What within Eden, or without, was done

Before his memory; as one whose drouth
Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current stream,
Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
Proceeded thus to ask his heavenly guest.

Great things, and full of wonder in our ears, Far differing from this world, thou hast reveald, Divine interpreter! by favor sent Down from the empyrean, to forewarn Us timely of what might else have been our loss, Unknown, which human knowledge could not reach: For which to the infinitely Good we owe

76 Immortal thanks, and his admonishment Receive, with solemn purpose to observe Immutably his sov’reign will, the end Of what we are. But since thou hast vouchsafed 80 Gently, for our instruction, to impart Things above earthly thought, which yet concernd Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seem'd, Deign to descend now lower, and relate What may no less perhaps avail us known, 85 How first began this Heaven which we behold Distant so high, with moving fires adorn'd Innumerable; and this which yields or fills All space, the ambient air wide interfused Embracing round this florid Earth; what cause 90 Moved the Creator, in his holy rest Through all eternity, so late to build In Chaos: and, the work begun, how soon Absolved; if unforbid thou mayst unfold What we, not to explore the secrets, ask


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