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When Satan who late fled before the threats
Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd



In meditated fraud and malice, bent
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 compaffing the earth, cautious of day,
Since Uriel regent of the fun defcry'd
His entrance, and forewarn'd the Cherubim
That kept their watch; thence full of anguish driven,
The space of fev'n continued nights he rode
With darkness, thrice the equinoctial line
He circled, four times crofs'd the car of night
From pole to pole, travérfing each colure;
On th' eighth return'd, and on the coaft averfe
From entrance or Cherubic watch, by stealth
Found unfuspected way. There was a place,
Now not, though fin, not time, first wrought the change,
Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise

Into a gulf shot under ground, till part
Rofe up a fountain by the tree of life;
In with the river funk, and with it rofe
Satan involv'd in rifing mist, then fought
Where to lie hid; fea he had fearch'd and land

From Eden over Pontus, and the pool
Mæotis, up beyond the river Ob;
Downward as far antarctic; and in length
Weft from Orontes to the ocean barr'd
At Darien, thence to the land where flows
Ganges and Indus: thus the orb he roam'd
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With narrow fearch, and with inspection deep
Confider'd every creature, which of all

Moft opportune might serve his wiles, and found 85
The Serpent fubtlest beast of all the field.

Him after long debate, irresolute

Of thoughts revolv'd, his final fentence chofe

Fit veffel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom

To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
From sharpest fight: for in the wily snake,
Whatever fleights none would suspicious mark,
As from his wit and native fubtlety
Proceeding, which in other beasts obferv'd
Doubt might beget of diabolic power
Active within beyond the sense of brute.
Thus he refolv'd, but first from inward grief
His bursting paffion into plaints thus pour'd.

O Earth, how like to Heav'n, if not preferr'd
More justly, feat worthier of Gods, as built
With fecond thoughts, reforming what was old!
For what God after better worfe would build?
Terrestrial Heav'n, danc'd round by other Heavens
That shine, yet bear their bright officious lamps,
Light above light, for thee alone, as seems,
In thee concentring all their precious beams
Of facred influence! As God in Heaven
Is center, yet extends to all, fo thou

Centring receiv'ft from all those orbs; in thee,





Not in themselves, all their known virtue' appears 110 Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth

Of creatures animate with gradual life


Of growth, fenfe, reafon, all fumm'd up in Man.
With what delight could I have walk'd thee round,
If I could joy in ought, fweet interchange 115
Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plains,
Now land, now fea, and fhores with foreft crown'd,
Rocks, dens, and caves! but I in none of thefe
Find place or refuge; and the more I fee
Pleasures about me, so much more I feel
Torment within me', as from the hateful fiege
Of contraries; all good to me becomes


Bane, and in Heav'n much worfe would be my ftate. But neither here feek I, no nor in Heaven

To dwell, unless by maft'ring Heav'n's Supreme; 125
Nor hope to be myself less miferable

By what I feek, but others to make fuch
As I, though thereby worfe to me redound:
For only in destroying I find ease

To my relentless thoughts; and him destroy'd,
Or won to what may work his utter lofs,
For whom all this was made, all this will foon
Follow, as to him link'd in weal or woe;
In woe then, that deftruction wide may range:
To me fhall be the glory fole among

Th' infernal Pow'rs, in one day to have marr'd
What he Almighty ftil'd, fix nights and days
Continued making, and who knows how long
Before had been contriving, though perhaps
Not longer than fince I in one night freed
From fervitude inglorious well nigh half
Th' angelic name, and thinner left the throng

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Of his adorers: he to be aveng'd,

And to repair his numbers thus impair'd,
Whether fuch virtue spent of old now fail'd
More Angels to create, if they at least


Are his created, or to spite us more,
Determin'd to advance into our room

A creature form'd of earth, and him endow,

Exalted from fo base original,

With heav'nly spoils, our spoils: What he decreed

He' effected; Man he made, and for him built

Magnificent this world, and earth his feat,

Him lord pronounc'd, and, O indignity!
Subjected to his fervice Angel wings,
And flaming ministers to watch and tend
Their earthly charge: Of these the vigilance
I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist
Of midnight vapor glide obfcure, and pry
bush and brake, where hap may find
The ferpent sleeping, in whose mazy folds
To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.




O foul defcent! that I who erft contended

With Gods to fit the high'eft, am now constrain'd

Into a beast, and mix'd with bestial slime,


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To bafeft things. Revenge, at first though sweet,

Bitter ere long back on itself recoils;


Let it; I reck not, fo it light well aim'd,
Since higher I fall short, on him who next
Provokes my envy, this new favorite
Of Heav'n, this man of clay, fon of despite,
Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais'd
From duft: fpite then with spite is best repaid.

So faying, through each thicket dank or dry,
Like a black mift low creeping, he held on
His midnight fearch, where fooneft he might find
The serpent: him faft fleeping foon he found
In labyrinth of many a round self-roll'd,



His head the midft, well stor'd with subtle wiles :
Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den,


Nor nocent yet, but on the graffy herb
Fearless unfear'd he slept in at his mouth
The Devil enter'd, and his brutal fenfe,
In heart or head, poffeffing foon inspir'd
With act intelligential; but his fleep

Disturb'd not, waiting close th' approach of morn.
Now when as facred light began to dawn
In Eden on the humid flow'rs, that breath'd


Their morning incenfe, when all things that breathe,
From th' earth's great altar fend up filent praise
To the Creator, and his noftrils fill


With grateful smell, forth came the human pair,
And join'd their vocal worship to the quire
Of creatures wanting voice; that done, partake
The season, prime for sweetest scents and airs:
Then commune how that day they best may ply
Their growing work: for much their work outgrew



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