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While they adore me on the throne of Hell.
With diadem and sceptre high advanced,
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
Would height recal high thoughts, how soon unsay 95
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 pierced so deep:
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse 100
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, in stead

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Of us outcast, exiled, 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;
Evil, be thou my good ; by thee at least

110 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 Thrice changed with pale, ire, envy, and despair ; 115 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, Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm, 120 Artificer of fraud; and was the first That practised falsehood under saintly show, Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge : Yet not enough had practised to deceive Uriel once warn'd; whose eye pursued him down 125 The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount

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Saw him disfigured, more than could befal
Spirit of happy sort : His gestures fierce
He mark'd and mad demeanour, then alone,
As he supposed, all unobserved, 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
Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides

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With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild,
Access denied ; and overhead up grew
Insuperable height of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
A silvan scene; and, as the ranks ascend

140 Shade above shade, a woody theatre Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops

The verduous wall of Paradise up sprung :
Which to our general sire gave prospect large
Into his nether empire neighbouring round. 145
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 enamel'd colours mix'd;
On which the sun more glad impress'd his beams 150
Than on 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
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive

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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
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are pass'd 160
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore .
Of Araby the bless'd ; with such delay
Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league
Cheer'd with the greatful smell old Ocean smiles : 165
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the Fiend,
Who came their bane ; though with them better pleased
Than Asmodčus with the fishy fume
That drove him, though enamour'd, from the spouse
Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent 170
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 entwined,
As one continued brake, the undergrowth

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Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex'd
All path of man or beast that pass'd that way.
One gate there only was, and that look'd east
On the other side: which when the archfelon saw,
Due entrance he disdain'd: and, in contempt, 180
At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound
Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within
Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf,
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve 185
In hurdled cotes amid the field secure,
Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold:
Or as a thief, bent to unhoard the cash
Of some rich'burgher, whose substantial doors,
Cross-barr'd and bolted fast, fear no assault, 190
In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles :
So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold;
So since into his church lewd hirelings climb.

The middle tree and highest there that grew, 195
Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life
Thereby regain'd, but sat devising death
To them who lived ; nor on the virtue thought
Of that lifegiving plant, but only used
For prospect, what well used had been the pledge 200
Of immortality. So little knows
Any, but God alone, to value right

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The good before him, but perverts best things
To worst abuse or to their meanest use.
Beneath him with new wonder now he views,

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To all delight of human sense exposed,
In narrow room, Nature's whole wealth, yea more,
A Heaven on Earth: For blissful Paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in the east
Of Eden planted ; Eden stretch'd her line
From Auran eastward to the royal towers
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
Or where the sons of Eden long before
Dwelt in Telassar: In this pleasant soil
His far more pleasant garden God ordain'd; 215
Out of the fertile ground he caused to grow
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste ,
And all amid them stood the tree of life,
High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold; and next to life,

220 Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by, Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill. Southward through Eden went a river large, Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy hill Pass'd underneath ingulf'd; for God had thrown 225 That mountain as his garden mound high raised Upon the rapid current, which, through veins Of porous earth with kindly thirst updrawn, Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill Water'd the garden ; thence united fell

230 Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood, Which from his darksome passage now appears, And now, divided into four main streams, Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm And country, whereof here needs no account; 235 But rather to tell how, if Art could tell, How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks, . Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold, With mazy error under pendent shades Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed

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Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice Art .
In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon
Pour'd forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain,
Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
The open field, and where the unpierced shade 245
Imbrown'd the noontide bowers : Thus was this place
A happy rural soat of various view;
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm,
Others whose fruit, burnish'd with golden rind,
Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,
If true, here only, and of delicious taste :
Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
Grazing the tender herb, were interposed,
Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap
Of some irriguous valley spread her store,. 255
Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose :
Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine
Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
Luxuriant; meanwhile murmuring waters fall 260
Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake,
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd
Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
The birds their choir apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune 265
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
Led on the eternal Spring. Not that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers,
Herself a fairy flower, by gloomy Dis

270
Was gather'd, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspired
Castalian spring might with this Paradise
Of Eden strive ; nor that Nyseian isle

275 Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham, Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove, Hid Amalthea, and her florid son

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