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Would not admit: thine, and of all thy sons,
The weal or woe in thee is placed: beware!
I in thy persevering shall rejoice,
And all the bless'd: Stand fast; to stand or fall.
Free in thine own arbitrement it lies.
Perfect within, no outward aid require;
And all temptation to transgress repel.

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
Follow'd with benediction. Since to part,
Go, heavenly guest, ethereal Messenger,
Sent from whose sov’reign goodness I adore!
Gentle to me and affable hath been
Thy condescension, and shall be honor'd ever
With grateful memory: Thou to mankind
Be good and friendly still, and oft return!

So parted they; the Angel up to Heaven
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower



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Satan, having compassed the Earth, with meditated guile, returns, as a

mist by night, into Paradise; enters into the Serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labors, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each laboring apart: Adam consents not; alleg, ing the danger lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone; Eve, loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength; Adam at last yields: The Serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking; with much flattery extolling Eve a. bove all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the Serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech and such understanding not till now; the Serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden: The Serpent, now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments, induces her at length to eat; she, pleased with the taste, deliberates awhile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not: at last brings him of the fruit; relates what persuaded her to eat thereof; Adam at first amazed, but per: ceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love, to perish with her: and extenuating the trespass, eats also of the fruit; The effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.

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NO MORE of talk where God or Angel guest
With man, as with his friend, familiar used
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast; permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblamed. I now must change
Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
And disobedience: on the part of Heaven,
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgment given,
That brought into this world a world of woe,
Sin and her shadow Death, and misery,
Death's harbinger: sad task! yet argument


Not less but more heroic than the wrath
Of stern Achilles on his foe pursued

Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespoused;
Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long
Perplex'd the Greek, and Cytherea's son;
If answerable style I can obtain

20 Of my celestial patroness, who deigns Her nightly visitation unimplored, 'And dictates to me slumbering; or inspires Easy my unpremeditated verse: Since first this subject for heroic song

25 Pleased me long choosing, and beginning late; Not sedulous by nature to indite Wars, hitherto the only argument Heroic deem'd; chief mastery to dissect With long and tedious havoc fabled knights 30 In battles feign'd; the better fortitude Of patience and heroic martyrdom Unsung; or to describe races and games, Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields, Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds,

35 Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights At joust and tournament; then marshal'd feast Served


in hall with sewers and seneschals; The skill of artifice or office mean, Not that which justly gives heroic name

40 To person or to poem. Me, of these Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument Remains; sufficient of itself to raise That name, unless an age too late, or cold Climate, or years, damp my intended wing 45 Depress’d; and much they may, if all be mine, Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.

The sun was sunk, and after him the star Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring

Twilight upon the earth, short arbiter

50 Twixt day and night, and now from end to end Night's hemisphere had veil'd the horizon round: When Satan, who late fled before the threats Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improved In meditated fraud and malice, bent

55 On Man's destruction, maugre what might hap Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd. By night he fled, and at midnight return'd From compassing the earth; cautious of day, Since Uriel, regent of the sun, descried

60 His entrance, and forewarn’d the Cherubim That kept their watch; thence full of anguish driven, The space of seven continued nights he rode With darkness; thrice the equinoctial line He circled; four times cross'd the car of night 65 From pole to pole, traversing each colure; On the eighth return'd; and, on the coast averse From entrance or cherubic watch, by stealth Found unsuspected way. There was a place, Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought the change, Where Tigris, at the foot of Paradise,

71 Into a gulf shot under ground, Rose up a fountain by the tree of life: In with the river sunk, and with it rose Satan, involved in rising mist; then sought

75 Where to lie hid; sea he had search’d, and land, Prom Eden over Pontus and the pool Mæotis, up beyond the river Ob; Downward as far antarctic; and in length, West 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 search; and with inspection deep Consider'd every creature, which of all Most opportune might serve his wiles; and found 85

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