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ARGUMENT of Book IV. Šatan now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where
he must now attempt the bold enterprise 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 ön to Paradise, whose outward prospect and situation is described, overleaps the bounds, fits in the friape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the garder, to look about him.' The garden described ; Satan's first fight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent form and happy fate; But with resolution to work their fall; over hears their discourse, thence gathers that the free 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 leaver them a while, to know further of their flate by some other nieans. Mean while Uriel defcending on a fun-beam, warns Gabriel, who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirii had escaped the deep, and pased at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good angel down to Paradise, discovered after by bis furious geftares on the mount, Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest : their borwer de fcribed ; their evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his bands of night-watcb to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's bower, lejß the evil spirit should be there doing fome barm to Adam or Eve sleeping ; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tem"ting her in a dream, and bring him, though and willing; to Gabriel : by whom questioned, he scornful. ly answers; prepares resistance, but hinder'd by a jign from beaven, flies out of Paradise.
PARADISE LO S T.
For that warning voice, which he who saw O
Th' Apocalyps heard cry 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 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 e'er th' Accufer of mankind, To wreak on innocent rail man his loss Of that first battle, and his flight to hell : Yet not rejoicing in his speed, tha’ bold, Far off, and fearless, nor with cause to boast, Begins his dire attempt; which nigh the birth Now rolling boils in his tumultuous brealt, And like a devilish engine back recoils Upon himself; horrour and doubt distract Mis 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 ftep, 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 sufferings must ensue,
O thou that, with surpassing glory crown'd,
45 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 fo high I 'Ideind fubje&tion, and thought one step higher 50 Would set me high'eft, and in a moment quit The debt immense of endless gratitude, So burdensome still paying, still to owe, Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd; And understood not that a grateful mind
55 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 fome inferiour angel, I had lood Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd 60 Ambition. Yet why not? some other power
As great might have aspir'd, and me though mean
dread of shame
90 The lower ftill I fall, only fupreme In misery : such joy ambition finds. But say I could repent, and could obtain, By act of grace, my former state; how soon 94 Would height recall high thoughts, how foon unsay What feign’d fubmission swore ? ease would recant Vows made in pain, as violent and void,
For never can true reconcilement grow,
Thụs while he fpake, each paflion dimm'd his face Thrice chang'd with pale ire, envy, and despair; 115 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 foon aware, Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm, 110 Artificer of fraud; and was the first That practis'd falsehood under faintly show, Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge. Yet not enough had practis'd to deceive Uriel once warn’d; whose eye pursu'd him down 125 The way he went, and on th' Affyrian mount Saw him disfigur'd, more than could befall Spi'rit of happy fort : his gestures fierce He mark'd, and mad demeanour, then alone, As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen.
130 So on he fares, and to the border comes Of Eden, where delicious Paradise, Now nearer, crowns, with her inclosure green,