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"Ambition. Yet, why not? some other power

"As great might have aspir'd, and me, though mean, "Drawn to his part: but other powers as great "Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within, 65 "Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.


"Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand?
"Thou hadst. Whom hast thou then, or what, to accuse,
"But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all?
"Be then his love accurs'd! since, love or hate
"To me alike, it deals eternal woe.

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Nay, curs'd be thou! since, against his, thy will "Chose freely what it now so justly rues.

Me miserable! which way shall I fly "Infinite wrath, and infinite despair? 75"Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; "And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep "Still threatening to devour me, opens wide, "To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven. "O, then, at last relent! Is there no place 80"Left for repentance? none for pardon left ?"None left, but by submission! and that word "Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame "Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd "With other promises, and other vaunts 85"Than to submit, boasting I could subdue "The Omnipotent! Ah me! they little know "How dearly I abide that boast so vain; "Under what torments inwardly I groan, "While they adore me on the throne of hell; 90" With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd, "The lower still I fall, only supreme "In misery: such joy ambition finds. "But say I could repent, and could obtain,

"By act of grace, my former state; how soon

95" Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay "What feign'd submission swore: ease would recant "Vows made in pain, as violent and void; "For never can true reconcilement grow

"Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep

100 “Which would but lead me to a worse relapse,
"And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
"Short intermission, bought with double smart.
"This knows my punisher; therefore as far
"From granting he, as I from begging peace.



All hope excluded thus, behold, (instead "Of us, outcast, exil'd,) his new delight, "Mankind, created, and for him this world. "So farewell hope! and with hope, farewell fear! Farewell remorse! all good to me is lost: 110 Evil, be thou my good! by thee, at least


"Divided empire with heaven's King I hold"By thee, and more than half perhaps, will reign; "As man ere long, and this new world, shall know.” Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face, 113 Thrice chang'd with pale ire, envy, and despair; Which marr'd his borrow'd visage, and betray'd Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld;

For heavenly minds from such distempers foul
Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware,
120 Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm,
Artificer of fraud! and was the first

That practis'd falsehood under saintly show,
Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge:
Yet not enough had practis'd to deceive

125 Uriel once warn'd; whose eye pursued him down
The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount
Saw him disfigur'd, more than could befal

Spirit of happy sort: his gestures fierce
He mark'd, and mad demeanour, then alone,

130 As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen.
So, on he fares; and to the border comes
Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,
Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,
As with a rural mound, the champaign head
135 Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides

With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild,

Access denied; and over-head up-grew
Insuperable height of loftiest shade,

Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm140 A sylvan scene; and, as the ranks ascend Shade above shade-a woody theatre

Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops
The verdurous wall of Paradise up-sprung;
Which to our general Sire gave prospect large
145 Into his nether empire neighbouring round:
And higher than that wall a circling row
Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit;
Blossoms and fruits at once, of golden hue,
Appear'd, with gay enamell'd colours mix'd;
150 On which the sun more glad impress'd his beams
Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow,

When God hath shower'd the earth; so lovely seem'd
That landscape; and of pure, now purer air
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires

155 Vernal delight and joy, able to drive

All sadness but despair: now gentle gales,
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
160 Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabëan odours from the spicy shore

Of Araby the Blest; with such delay

Well pleas'd they slack their course, and, many a league, 165 Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles: So entertain'd those odorous sweets the fiend,

Who came their bane: though with them better pleas'd
Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume

That drove him, though enamour'd, from the spouse
170 Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent
From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.
Now to the ascent of that steep savage hill
Satan had journey'd on, pensive and slow;
But further way found none, so thick entwin'd,

Lay waving round: on some great charge employ'd
He seem'd, or fix'd in cogitation deep.

630 Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope
To find who might direct his wandering flight
To Paradise, the happy seat of man,

His journey's end, and our beginning woe.

But first he casts to change his proper shape,
635 Which else might work him danger or delay:
And now a stripling Cherub he appears,
Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
Youth smil'd celestial; and to every limb
Suitable grace diffus'd; so well he feign'd:
640 Under a coronet his flowing hair

In curls on either cheek play'd; wings he wore,
Of many a colour'd plume, sprinkled with gold;
His habit fit for speed succinct; and held
Before his decent steps a silver wand.

645 He drew not nigh unheard; the angel bright,
Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn'd,
Admonish'd by his ear; and straight was known
The Archangel Uriel, one of the seven

Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne,

650 Stand ready at command, and are his eyes

That run through all the heavens, or down to the earth
Bear his swift errands, over moist and dry,

O'er sea and land: him Satan thus accosts.

"Uriel! for thou of those seven spirits that stand 655"In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright, "The first art wont his great authentic will


Interpreter through highest heaven to bring, "Where all his sons thy embassy attend; "And here art likeliest, by supreme decree, 660"Like honour to obtain, and, as his eye, "To visit oft this new creation round:


Unspeakable desire to see, and know,

"All these his wondrous works, but chiefly man, "His chief delight and favour-him for whom 665 "All these his works so wondrous he ordained,

"Hath brought me from the quires of Cherubim
"Alone thus wandering. Brightest Seraph! tell
"In which of all these shining orbs hath man
"His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,

670 "But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell;
"That I may find him, and, with secret gaze,
"Or open admiration, him behold,


"On whom the great Creator hath bestow'd


Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces pour'd; "That both in him and all things, as is meet, “The universal Maker we may praise,

"Who justly hath driven out his rebel foes "To deepest hell; and, to repair that loss, "Created this new happy race of men 680 "To serve Him better. Wise are all his ways!" So spake the false dissembler unperceiv'd: For neither man, nor angel, can discern Hypocrisy, (the only evil that walks

Invisible, except to God alone,

685 By his permissive will, through heaven and earth; And oft, though Wisdom wake, Suspicion sleeps At Wisdom's gate, and to Simplicity

Resigns her charge, while Goodness thinks no ill

Where no ill seems,) which now for once beguil'd

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690 Uriel, though regent of the sun, and held
The sharpest-sighted spirit of all in heaven;
Who to the fraudulent impostor foul,
In his uprightness answer thus return'd.


"Fair angel! thy desire, which tends to know "The works of God, thereby to glorify "The great Work-master, leads to no excess "That reaches blame, but rather merits praise, "The more it seems excess, that led thee hither "From thy empyreal mansion thus alone, 700"To witness with thine eyes what some, perhaps, "Contented with report, hear only in heaven: "For wonderful indeed are all his works, "Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all

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