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Congratulant approach'd him, who with hand
Silence, and, with these words, attention won :

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers,
For in possession such, not only of right,

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I call ye, and declare ye now, return'd
Successful beyond hope, to lead ye

forth
Triumphant out of this infernal pit
Abominable, accurs'd, the house of woe,
And dungeon of our tyrant: now pofless,
As lords, a spacious world, to our native heav'n
Little inferior, by my adventure hard
With peril great achiev'd. Long were to tell
What I have done, what suffer'd, with what pain 470
Voyag'd th' unreal, vast, unbounded deep
Of horrible confusion, over which
By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav’d

To expedite your glorious march ; but I
Toild out my uncouth passage, forc'd to ride 475
Th' untractable abyss, plung'd in the womb
Of unoriginal night and chaos wild,
That, jealous of their secrets, fiercely oppos'd
My journey ftrange, with clamorous uproar
Protesting fate fupreme ; thence how I found
The new-created world, which fame in heav'n
Long had foretold, a fabric wonderful,
Of absolute perfection, therein man
Plac'd in a paradise, by our exile
Made happy: him by fraud I have seduc'd

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From his Creator, and, the more to increase
Your wonder, with an apple ; he thereat
Offended, worth your laughter, hath giv’n up
Both his beloved man, and all his world
To fin and death a prey, and so to us,

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Without our hazard, labour, or alarm,
To range in, and to dwell, and over man
To rule, as over all he should have rului.
True is, me also he hath judg’d, or rather
Me not, but the brute ferpent, in whose shape 495
Man I deceiv'd : that which to me belongs
Is enmity, which he will put between

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Me and mankind; I am to bruise his lieel ;
His feed, when is not let, Ma!l bruise my head :
A world who would not purchase with a bruise, 500
Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th' account
Of my performance : what remains, ye Gods,
But up and enter now into full bliss ?

So having iaid, a while he stood, expecting
Their universal shout and high applause

505 To fill his ear, when contrary he hears On all sides, from innumerable tongues, A dismal universal hiss, the sound Of public scorn : he wonder'd, but not long Had leisure, wond'ring at himself now more ; 510 His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare, His arms clung to his ribs, his legs entwining Each other, till supplanted, down he fell A monstrous serpent on his belly prone, Reluctant, but in vain ; a greater power

515 Now ruld hiin, punish'd in the shape he finn'd According to his doom: he would have spoke, But hiss for hiss return'd with forked tongue To forked tongue, for now were all transform'd Alike to serpents, all as accessories

520 To his bold riot : dreadfu) was the din Of hilling through the hall, chick swarming now With complicated montiers head and tail, Scorpion, and aip, and amphisbæna dire, Ceraftes born’d, Hydrus, aid Elops drear,

525 And Diplas; (not so thick lwarm d once the foil Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, on the ille Ophiusa ;) but ftill greatelt he in the midlt, Now dragon grown, larger than whom the sun Engender'd in the Pythian vale on fline,

530 Huge Python, and his power no less he seem'd Above the rest ftill to retain : they all Him follow'd issuing forth to th’ open field, Where all yet left of that revolted rout Heav'n-fallen, in station stood or just array, 535 Sublime with expectation when to see In triumph ifluing forth their glorious chief :

They saw, but other fight instead, a crowd
Of ugly serpents; horror on them fell,
And horrid lympathy; for what they saw, 540
They felt themselves now changing : down their arms,
Down fell both spear and shield, down they as fait,
And the dire hiss renew'd, and the dire forin
Catch'd hy contagion, like in punishment,
As in their crime. Thus was th' applause they meant
Turn'd to exploding hiss, triumph to shame 546
Cast on themselves from their own mouths. There stood
A grove hard by, sprung up with this their change,
His will who reigns above, to aggravate
Their penance, laden with fair fruit, like that

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Which grew in paradise, the bait of Eve
Usd by the tempter : on that prospect ftrange
Their earnest eyes they fix’d, imagining
For one forbidden tree a multitude
Now ris'n, to work them further woe or shame; 555
Yet, parch’d with scalding thirst and hunger fierce,
Though to delude them fent, could not abstain,
But on they roll'd in heaps, and up the trees
Climbing, fat thicker than the Inaky locks
That curl'd Megæra : greedily they pluck'd
The fruitage fair to fight, like that which grew
Near that bituminous lake where Sodom Alanı'd;
This, more delusive, not the touch, but taste,
Deceiv'd ; they fondly thinking to allay
Their appetite with guft, inktead of fruit

565 Chew'd bitter alhes, which th' offended talte With fpattering noise rejected: oft they aslay'd, Hunger and thirst constraining, drug'd as oti, With hatefullest disrelila writh'd their jaws, With foot and cinders fillid, so oft they tell 570 Into the same illusion, not as man

[plagu'd Whom they triumph'd once laps'd. Thus were they And worn with famine, long and ceaseleis hiss, Till their loft shape, permitted, they relum'd, Yearly enjoin'd, Tome say, to undergo

57 5 This annual humbling certain number'd days, To dalh their pride, and joy for man seduc'do

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However, some tradition they dispers'd
Among the Heathen of their purchase got,
And fabled how the serpent, whom they call’d
Ophion with Eurynome, the wide
Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the rule
Of high Olympus, thence by Saturn driven
And Ops, ere yet Dictæan Jove was born.

Meanwhile in paradise the hellish pair 585
Too foon arriv'd, Sin there in power before,
Once actual, now in body, and to dwell
Habitual habitant; behind her Death
Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
On his pale horse: to whom Sin thus began : 590

Second of Satan sprung, all conq’ring Death, What think'st thou of our empire now, though earn'd With travel difficult, not better far Than still at hell's dark threshold to have fat watch Unnam’d, undreaded, and thyself half starv'd ? 595

Whom thus the fin-born monster answer'd soon: To me, who with eternal famine pine, Alike is hell, or paradise, or heav'n, There best; where most with ravin I may meet; Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems 600 To stuff this maw, this vast unhide-bound corps.

To whom th' incestuous mother thus reply'd: Thou therefore on these herbs, and fruits, and flowers, Feed first, on each beast next, and fish, and fowl, No homely „norsels ; and whatever thing The fcythe of Time mows down, devour unspar'd; Till I in man residing through the race, His thoughts, his looks, words, actions, all infect, And season bim thy last and sweetest prey.

This faid, they both betook them feveral ways, 610 Both to destroy, or unimmortal make All kinds, and for destruction to mature Sooner or later ; which th' Almighty seeing, From his transcendant seat the saints among, To those bright orders.utter'd thus his voice :

See with what heat these dogs of hell advance To waste and havoc yonder world, which I.

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So fair and good created, and had ftill
Kept in that state, had not the folly of man
Let in these wasteful furies, who impute

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Folly to me ; fo doth the prince of hell
And his adherents, that with so much ease
I suffer them to enter and possess.
A place so heav'nly, and conniving seem
To gratify my scornful enemies,
That laugh, as if, transported with some fit
Of passion, I to them had quitted all,
Ar random yielded up to their misrule :
And know not that I call'd and drew them thither
My hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth 630
Which man's polluting fin with taint hath shed
On what was pure, till cramm'd and gorg’d,' nigh burst
With fuck'd and glutted offal, at one ning
Of thy victorious arm, well-pleasing Son,
Both Sin and Death, and yawning Grave at last,

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Through Chaos huri'd, obstruct the mouth of hell
For ever, and seal up his ravenous jaws.
Then heav'n and earth renew'd, shall be made pure
To sanctity that shall receive no ftain:
Till then the curse pronounc'd on both precedes. 640

He ended, and the heav'nly audience loud
Sung hallelujah, as the found of seas,
Through multitude that sung: just are thy ways,
Righteous are thy decrees on all thy works :
Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son,
Destin'd restorer of mankind, by whom
New heav'n and earth shall to the ages rise,
Or down from heav'n descend. Such was their song,
While the Creator, calling forth by name
His mighty angels, gave them several charge, 650
As sorted best with present things. The fun
Had first his precept so to move, so line,
As might affect the earth with cold and heat
Scarce tolerable, and froin the north to call
Decrepit Winter, from the south to bring 655
Solftitial Summer's heat. To the blank moon
Her office they prescrib’d, to th' other five

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