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Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud

Bad men and angels; they, arraign'd, shall sink Of anger shall remain, but peace assurd

Beneath thy sentence; Hell, her numbers full, And reconcilement; wrath shall be no more Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Meanwhile Thenceforth, but in thy presence joy entire." The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring

His words here ended, but his meek aspect New Heaven and Earth, wherein the just shall Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love

dwell, To mortal men, above which only shone

And after all their tribulations long, Filial obedience: as a sacrifice

See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds, Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will

With joy and love triumphing, and fair truth. Of his great Father. Admiration seiz'd

Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by, All Heaven, what this might mean, and whither For regal sceptre then no more shall need, tend,

God shall be all in all. But, all ye gods, Wondering ; but soon the Almighty thus replied. Adore him, who to compass all this dies ;

“ O thou in Heaven and Earth the only peace Adore the Son, and honour him as me." Found out for mankind under wrath! O thou No sooner had the Almighty ceas'd, but all My sole complacence! well thou know'st how dear The multitude of angels, with a shout To me are all my works, nor Man the least, Loud as from numbers without number, sweet Though last created ; that for him I spare

As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heaven rung Thee from my bosom and right hand to save, With jubilee, and loud Hosannas fillid By losing thee awhile, the whole race lost.

The eternal regions : lowly reverent Thou, therefore, whom thou only canst redeem, Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground Their nature also to thy nature join ;

With solemn adoration down they cast
And be thyself man among men on Earth,

Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold;
Made flesh, when time shall be, of virgin seed, Immortal amarant, a flower which once
By wonderous birth: be thou in Adam's room In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,
The head of all mankind, though Adam's son. Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence
As in him perish all men, so in thee,

To Heaven remov'd where first it grew, there grows, As from a second root, shall be restor'd

And flowers aloft shading the fount of life, As many as are restor'd, without thee none. And where the river of bliss through midst of His crime makes guilty all his sons; thy merit,

Heaven Imputed, shall absolve them who renounce

Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber stream : Their own both righteous and unrighteous deeds, With these that never fade the spirits elect And live in thee transplanted, and from thee Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams; Receive new light. So man, as is most just, Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright Shall satisfy for man, be judg'd and die,

Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone, And dying rise, and rising with him raise

Impurpled with celestial roses smil'd. His brethren, ransom'd with his own dear life. Then, crown'd again, their golden harps they took, So heavenly love shall outdo hellish hate,

Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by their side Giving to death, and dying to redeem,

Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet So dearly to redeem what hellish hate

Of churming symphony they introduce So easily destroy'd, and still destroys

Their sacred song, and waken raptures high ; In those who, when they may, accept not grace. No voice exempt, no voice but well could join Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume

Melodious part, such concord is in Heaven.
Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own.

Thee, Father, first they sung Omnipotent,
Because thou hast, though thron'd in highest bliss Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
Equal to God, and equally enjoying

Eternal King; thee Author of all being,
God-like fruition, quitted all, to save

Fountain of light, thyself invisible A world from utter loss, and hast been found Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitst By merit more than birthright Son of God,

Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st Found worthiest to be so by being good,

The full blaze of thy beams, and, through a cloud Far more than great or high ; because in thee Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine, Love hath abounded more than glory abounds, Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear, Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt

Yet dazzle Heaven, that brightest seraphim With thee thy manhood also to this throne ; Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes. Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign Thee next they sang of all creation first, Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man, Begotten Son, Divine Similitude, Anointed universal King ; all power

In whose conspicuous countenance, without cloud I give thee; reign for ever, and assume

Made visible, the Alınighty Father shines, Thy merits ; under thee, as head supreme,

Whom else no creature can behold; on thee Thrones, princedoms, powers, dominions, I reduce : Impress'd the effulgence of his glory abides, All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests. In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell. He Heaven of Heavens and all the powers therein When thou, attended gloriously from Heaven, By thee created ; and by thee threw down Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send The aspiring dominations : thou that day The summoning arch-angels to proclaim

Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst not spare, Thy dread tribunal: forthwith from all winds Nor stop thy flaming chariot-wheels, that shook The living, and forthwith the cited dead

Heaven's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks Of all past ages, to the general doom

Thou drov'st of warring angels disarray'd. Shall hasten; such a peel shall rouse their sleep. Back from pursuit thy powers with loud acclaim Then, all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge Thee only extoll’d, Son of thy Father's might,

To execute fierce vengeance on his foes,

Of Sennaar, and still with vain design Not so on Man: him, through their malice fall'n, New Babels, had they wherewithal, would build ; Father of mercy and grace, thou didst not doom Others came single ; he, who to be deem'd So strictly, but much more to pity incline: A god, leap'd fondly into Ætna flames, No sooner did thy dear and only Son

Empedocles; and he, who to enjoy Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man Plato's Elysium, leap'd into the sea, So strictly, but much more to pity inclin’d, Cleombrotus; and many more too long, He to appease thy wrath, and end the strife Embryos and idiots, eremites and friars Of mercy and justice in thy face discern'd, White, black, and gray, with all their trumpery. Regardless of the bliss wherein he sat

Here pilgrims roam, that stray'd so far to seek Second to thee, offer'd himself to die

In Golgotha him dead, who lives in Heaven ; For Man's offence. O unexampled love,

And they, who to be sure of Paradise, Love no where to be found less than Divine ! Dying, put on the weeds of Dominic, Hail, Son of God, Saviour of Men! Thy name

Or in Franciscan think to pass disguis'd ; Shall be the copious matter of my song

They pass the planets seven, and pass the fix'd, Henceforth, and never shall my harp thy praise And that crystalline sphere whose balance weighs Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin. The trepidation talk'd, and that first mov'd

Thus they in Heaven, above the starry sphere, And now Saint Peter at Heaven's wicket secmis Their happy hours in joy and hymning spent.

To wait them with his keys, and now at foot; Meanwhile upon the firm opacous globe

Of Heaven's ascent they lift their feet, when lo Of this round world, whose first convex divides A violent cross wind from either coast The luminous inferior orbs, enclos'd

Blows them transverse, ten thousand leagues awry From Chaos, and the inroad of Darkness old, Into the devious air: then might ye see Satan alighted walks: a globe far off

Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tost It seem'd, now seems a boundless continent And flutter'd into rags; then reliques, beads, Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls, Starless expos'd, and ever-threatening storms The sport of winds : all these, upwhirl'd aloft, Of Chaos blustering round, inclement sky;

Fly o'er the backside of the world far off, Save on that side which from the wall of Heaven, Into a Limbo large and broad, since call’d Though distant far, some small reflection gains · The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown Of glimmering air, less vex'd with tempest loud: Long after, now unpeopled and untrod. Here walk'd the fiend at large in spacious field. All this dark globe the fiend found as he pass'd, As when a vulture on Imaus bred,

And long he wander'd, till at last a gleam Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds, Of dawning light turn'd thither-ward in haste Dislodging from a region scarce of prey,

His travelld steps : far distant he descries
To gorge the flesh of lambs or yeanling kids, Ascending by degrees magnificent
On hills where flocks are fed, flies toward the Up to the wall of Heaven a structure high ;
springs

At top whereof, but far more rich appeard
Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams ;

The work as of a kingly palace-gate, But in his way lights on the barren plains

With frontispiece of diamond and gold Of Sericana, where Chineses drive

Embellish'd; thick with sparkling orient gems With sails and wind their cany waggons light: The portal shone, inimitable on Earth So, on this windy sea of land, the fiend

By model, or by shading pencil, drawn. Walk'd up and down alone, bent on his prey; The stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw Alone, for other creature in this place,

Angels ascending and descending, bands Living or lifeless, to be found was none,

Of guardians bright, when he from Esau fled None

yet, but store hereafter from the Earth To Padan-Aram, in the field of Luz Up hither like aëreal vapours flew

Dreaming by night under the open sky, Of all things transitory and vain, when sin

And waking cried, “ This is the gate of Heaven." With vanity had fill’d the works of men;

Each stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood Both all things vain, and all who in vain things There always, but drawn up to Heaven sometimes Built their fond hopes of glory or lasting fame, Viewless; and underneath a bright sea flow'd Or happiness in this or the other life;

Of jasper, or of liquid pearl, whereon All who have their reward on Earth, the fruits Who after came from Earth, sailing arriv'd, of painful superstition and blind zeal,

Wafted by angels, or flew o'er the lake Nought seeking but the praise of men, here find Rapt in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds, Fit retribution, empty as their deeds;

The stairs were then let down, whether to dare All the unaccomplish'd works of Nature's hand, The fiend by easy ascent, or aggravate Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mix'd,

Ilis sad exclusion from the doors of bliss : Dissolv'd on Earth, fleet hither, and in vain, Direct against which open'd from beneath, Till final dissolution, wander here;

Just o'er the blissful seat of Paradise, Not in the neighbouring Moon, as some have a passage down to the Earth, a passage wide, dream'd;

Wider by far than that of after-times Those argent fields more likely habitants,

Over mount Sion, and, though that were large, Translated saints, or middle spirits hold

Over the Promis'd Land, to God so dear; Retwixt the angelical and human kind.

By which, to visit oft those happy tribes, Hither of ill-join'd sons and daughters born On high behests his angels to and fro First from the ancient world those giants came Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard With many a vain exploit, though then renown'd: From Paneas, the fount of Jordan's flood, The builders next of Babel on the plain

To Beërsaba, where the Holy Land

Borders on Egypt and the Arabian shore ;

What wonder then if fields and regions here
So wide the opening seem'd, where bounds were set Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers run
To darkness, such as bound the ocean wave. Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch
Satan from hence, now on the lower stair,

The arch-chymic Sun, so far from us remote,
That scal'd by steps of gold to Heaven-gate, Produces, with terrestrial humour mix'd,
Looks down with wonder at the sudden view Here in the dark so many precious things
Of all this world at once. As when a scout, Of colour glorious, and effect so rare ?
Through dark and desert ways with peril gone Here matter new to gaze the Devil met
All night, at last by break of cheerful dawn Undazzled; far and wide his eye commands;
Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill, For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
Which to his eye discovers unaware

But all sun-shine, as when his beams at noon The goodly prospect of some foreign land

Culminate from the equator, as they now First seen, or some renown'd metropolis

Shot upward still direct, whence no way round With glistering spires and pinnacles adorn'd, Shadow from body opaque can fall: and the air, Which now the rising Sun gilds with his beams : No where so clear, sharpen'd his visual ray Such wonder seiz'd, though after Heaven seen, To objects distant far, whereby he soon The spirit malign, but much more envy seiz'd, Saw within ken a glorious angel stand, At sight of all this world beheld so fair.

The same whom John saw also in the Sun : Round he surveys (and well might, where he stood His back was turn’d, but not his brightness hid; So high above the circling canopy

Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar
Of night's extended shade) from eastern point Circled his head, nor less his locks behind
Of Libra to the fleecy star that bears

Illustrious on his shoulders, fledge with wings, Andromeda far off Atlantic seas

Lay waving round; on some great charge employd Beyond the horizon; then from pole to pole He seem'd, or fix'd in cogitation deep. He views in breadth, and without longer pause Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope Down right into the world's first region throws To find who might direct his wandering flight His flight precipitant, and winds with ease

To Paradise, the happy seat of Man,
Through the pure marble air his oblique way His journey's end and our beginning woe.
Amongst innumerable stars, that shone

But first he casts to change his proper shape,
Stars distant, but nigh hand seem'd other worlds ; Which else might work him danger or delay :
Or other worlds they seem'd, or happy isles, And now a stripling cherub he appears,
Like those Hesperian gardens fam'd of old, Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
Fortunate fields, and groves, and flowery vales, Youth smil'd celestial, and to every limb
Thrice happy isles; but who dwelt happy there Suitable grace diffus'd, so well he feign'd:
He staid not to inquire : above them all

Under a coronet his flowing hair
The golden Sun, in splendour likest Heaven, In curls on either cheek play'd ; wings he wore,
Allur'd his eye; thither his course he bends Of many a colour'd plume, sprinkled with gold;
Through the calm firmament, (but up or down, His habit fit for speed succinct, and held
By centre or eccentric, hard to tell,

Before his decent steps a silver wand. Or longitude,) where the great luminary

He drew not nigh unheard ; the angel bright, Aloof the vulgar constellations thick,

Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn'd, That from his lordly eye keep distance due, Admonish'd by his ear, and straight was known Dispenses light from far ; they, as they move The arch-angel Uriel, one of the seven Their starry dance in numbers that compute Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne, Days, months and years, towards his all-cheering Stand ready at command, and are his eyes lamp

That run through all the Heavens, or down to the Turn swift their various motions, or are turn'd

Earth By his magnetic beam, that gently warms

Bear his swift errands over moist and dry, The universe, and to each inward part

O'er sea and land : him Satan thus accosts. With gentle penetration, though unseen,

Uriel, for thou of those seven spirits that stand Shoots invisible virtue even to the deep;

In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright, So wonderously was set his station bright.

The first art wont his great authentic will There lands the fiend, a spot like which perhaps Interpreter through highest Heaven to bring, Astronomer in the Sun's lucent orb

Where all his sons thy embassy attend; Through his glaz'd optic tube yet never saw. And here art likeliest by supreme decree The place he found beyond expression bright, Like honour to obtain, and as his eye Compar'd with aught on Earth, metal or stone; To visit oft this new creation round; Not all parts like, but all alike inform'd

Unspeakable desire to see, and know With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire; All these his wonderous works, but chiefly Man, If metal, part seem'd gold, part silver clear ; His chief delight and favour, him for whom If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite,

All these his works so wonderous he ordain'd, Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shone

Hath brought me from the quires of cherubim In Aaron's breast-plate, and stone besides

Alone thus wandering. Brightest seraph, tell Imagin'd rather oft than elsewhere seen,

In which of all these shining orbs hath Man That stone, or like to that, which here below His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none, Philosophers in vain so long have sought,

But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell; In vain, though by their powerful art they bind That I may find him, and with secret gaze Volatile Hermes, and call up unbound

Or open admiration him behold, In various shapes old Proteus from the sea, On whom the great Creator hath bestow'd Drain'd through a limbec to his native form. Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces pour'd;

66

That both in him and all things, as is meet,
The universal Maker' we may praise ;

Book IV.
Who justly hath driven out his rebel foes

The Argument.
To deepest Hell, and, to repair that loss,
Created this new happy race of Men

Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place To serve him better : wise are all his ways.'

where he must now attempt the bold enterprise So spake the false dissembler unperceiv'd;

which he undertook alone against God and Man, For neither man nor angel can discern

falls into many doubts with himself, and many Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks

passions, fear, envy, and despair; but at length Invisible, except to God alone,

confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, By his permissive will, through Heaven and Earth: whose outward prospect and situation is described; And oft, though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps overleaps the bounds; sits in the shape of a corAt wisdom's gate, and to simplicity

morant on the tree of life, as highest in the garResigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill den, to look about him. The garden described; Where no ill seems: which now for once beguil'd Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder Uriel, though regent of the Sun, and held

at their excellent form and happy state, but with The sharpest-sighted spirit of all in Heaven;

resolution to work their fall; overhears their disWho to the fraudulent impostor foul,

course, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge In his uprightness, answer thus return'd.

was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of “ Fair angel, thy desire, which tends to know death ; and thereon intends to found his temptaThe works of God, thereby to glorify

tion, by seducing them to transgress : then leaves The great Work-master, leads to no excess

them a while to know further of their state by That reaches blame, but rather merits praise

some other means. Meanwhile Uriel descending The more it seems excess, that led thee hither on a sunbeam warns Gabriel, who had in charge From thy empyreal mansion thus alone,

the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps, escaped the deep, and passed at noon by his Contented with report, hear only in Heaven: sphere in the shape of a good angel down to For wonderful indeed are all his works,

Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all

in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere Had in remembrance always with delight;

morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve But what created mind can comprehend

discourse of going to their rest : their bower Their number, or the wisdom infinite

described; their evening worship. Gabriel, drawThat brought them forth, but hid their causes deep? ing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the I saw when at his word the formless mass,

round of Paradise, appoints two strong angels to This world's material mould, came to a heap : Adam's bower, lest the evil spirit should be there Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar

doing some harm to Adam or Eve, sleeping ; Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd;

there they find him at the ear of Eve tempting her Till at his second bidding Darkness fled,

in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Light shone, and order from disorder sprung: Gabriel; by whom questioned, he scornfully anSwift to their several quarters hasted then

swers; prepares resistance; but, hindered by a The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire; sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise. And this etherial quintessence of Heaven Flew upward, spirited with various forms,

O For that warning voice, which he, who saw That roll's orbicular, and turn'd to stars

'Th' Apocalypse, heard cry in Heaven aloud, Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move; Then when the Dragon, put to second rout, Each had his place appointed, each his course; Came furious down to be reveng'd on men, The rest in circuit walls this universe.

Woe to the inhabitants on Earth! that now, Look downward on that globe, whose hither side While time was, our first parents had been warn'd With light from hence, though but reflected, shines; The coming of their secret foe, and 'scap'd, That place is Earth, the seat of Man; that light Haply so 'scap'd his mortal snare : for now His day, which else, as the other hemisphere, Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down, Night would invade ; but there the neighbouring The tempter ere the accuser of mankind, Moon

To wreak on innocent frail man his loss (So call that opposite fair star) her aid

Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell :
Timely interposes, and her monthly round

Yet, not rejoicing in his speed, though bold
Still ending, still renewing, through mid Heaven, Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
With borrow'd light her countenance triform Begins his dire attempt; which nigh the birth
Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' Earth, Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast,
And in her pale dominion checks the night. And like a devilish engine back recoils
That spot, to which I point, is Paradise,

Upon himself; horrour and doubt distract Adam's abode ; those lofty shades, his bower. His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires." The Hell within him ; for within him Hell

Thus said, he turn'd; and Satan, bowing low, He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell As to superior spirits is wont in Heaven,

One step, no more than from himself, can fly Where honour due and reverence none neglects, By change of place: now conscience wakes despair, Took leave, and toward the coast of Earth beneath, That slumbered; wakes the bitter memory Down from the ecliptic, sped with hop'd success, Of what he was, what is, and what must be Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel ; Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must Nor staid, till on Niphates' top he lights.

Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view

ensue.

Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixed sad ; Would height recal high thoughts, how soon unsey Sometimes towards Heaven, and the full-blazing What feign'd submission swore ? Ease would recant. Sun,

Vows made in pain, as violent and void. Which now sat high in his meridian tower : For never can true reconcilement grow, Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began. Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep :

“ () thou, that, with surpassing glory crown'd, Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God And heavier fall : so should I purchase dear
Of this new world ; at whose sight all the stars Short intermission bought with double smart.
Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, This knows my punisher ; therefore as far
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name, From granting he, as I from begging peace :
O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,

All hope excluded thus, behold, instead
That bring to my remembrance from what state Of us outcast, exil'd, his new delight,
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;

Mankind created, and for him this world.
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down, So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear
Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless Farewell remorse : all good to me is lost;
King :
Evil, be thou my good : by thee at least

1 Ah, wherefore! he deserv'd no such return

Divided empire with Heaven's King I hold, From me, whom he created what I was

By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign ; In that bright eminence, and with his good

As Man ere long, and this new world, shall know." Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.

Thus while he spake, each' passion dimm'd his What could be less than to afford him praise,

face The easiest recompense,

and pay him thanks, Thrice chang'd with pale, ire, envy, and despair ; How due ! yet all his good prov'd ill in me, Which marr'd his borrow'd visage, and betray'd And wrought but malice ; lifted up so high Him counterfeit, if any eye

beheld.
I'sdein'd subjection, and thought one step higher For heavenly minds from such distempers foul
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware,
The debt immense of endless gratitude,

Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm, So burthensome still paying, still to owe,

Artificer of fraud; and was the first Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd,

That practis'd falsehood under saintly show, And understood not that a grateful mind

Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge : By owing owes not, but still pays, at once

Yet not enough had practis'd to deceive Indebted and discharg'd; what burthen then? Uriel once warn'd; whose eye pursued him down O had his powerful destiny ordain'd

The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount
Me some inferior angel, I had stood

Saw him disfigur'd, more than could befall
Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd Spirit of happy sort : his gestures fierce
Ambition. Yet why not? some other power He mark'd and mad demeanour, then alone,
As great might have aspir'd, and me, though mean, As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen.
Drawn to his part; but other powers as great So on he fares, and to the border comes
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within

Of Eden, where delicious Paradise
Or from without, to all temptations arm’d.

Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ? As with a rural mound, the champaign head
Thou hadst : whom hast thou then or what to ac Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
cuse,

With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild,
But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all ? Access denied; and over-head up grew
Be then his love accurs'd, since love or hate, Insuperable height of loftiest shade,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.

Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
Nay, curs'd be thou ; since against his thy will A sylvan scene; and, as the ranks ascend
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.

Shade above shade, a woody theatre Me miserable! which way shall I fly

Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops Infinite wrath, and infinite despair ?

The verdurous wall of Paradise up sprung: Which way I fy is Hell ; myself am Hell ; Which to our general sire gave prospect large And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep

Into his nether empire neighbouring round. Still threatening to devour me opens wide,

And higher than that wall a circling row To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven. Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit, O, then, at last relent: is there no place

Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue, Left for repentance, none for pardon left ?

Appear'd, with gay enamell’d colours mix'd : None left but by submission ; and that word On which the Sun more glad impress'd his beams Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow, Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd When God hath showered the earth; so lovely With other promises and other vaunts

seem'd Than to submit, boasting I could subdue

That landscape : and of pure, now purer air The Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires How dearly I abide that boast so vain.

Vernal delight and joy, able to drive Under what torments inwardly I groan,

All sadness but despair : now gentle gales, While they adore me on the throne of Hell. Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd,

Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole The lower still I fall, only supreme

Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail In misery : such joy ambition finds.

Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past But say I could repent, and could obtain,

Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow By act of grace, my former state; how soon Sabean odours from the spicy shore

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