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pleads, but submits : the angels leads him up to a high hill, set before him in vifion what shall happen till the
THE ARGUMENT OF THE TWELFTH BOOK. T HE angel Michael continues from the flood to
1 relate what shall succeed; then, in the mention of Abraham, comes by degrees to explain, who that seed of the woman should be, which was promised Adam and Eve in the fall ; his incarnation, death, refurrection, and ascension; the state of the church till Iris second coming. Adam greatly satisfied and recomforted by these relations and promises descends the hill with Michael ; wakens Eve, who all this while had Nept, but with gentle dreams compos'd to quietness of mind and fubmiffion. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise ; the fiery sword waving behind them, and the cherubim taking their stations to guard the place,
F man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater man
Restore us, and regain the blisful feat,
Sing heav'nly muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didft inspire
That shepherd, who first caught the chosen feed,
In the beginning how the heav'ns and earth
Rose out of chaos : or if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that fow'd
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous song,
That with no middle flight intends to foar
Above th’Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhime.
And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that doft prefer
Before all temples th'upright heart and pure,.
Instruct me, for thou know'ft; thou from the first
Waft present, and with mighty wings outspread,
Dove-like fat'it brooding on the vast abyfs,
And mad’ft it pregnant : what in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great argument .
I may affert eternal providence,
And justify the ways of God to men. '
Say first, for heav'n hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of hell, say first what cause
Mov'd our grand parents in that happy state,
Favour'd of heav'n so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For one restraint, lords of the world besides ?
Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt?
Th’infernal serpent; he it was whose guile
Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceiv'd
The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out from heav'n, with all his host
Of rebel angels, by whose aid aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equall'd the Most High,
If he oppos’d; and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God
Rais'd impious war in heav'n and battle proud
With vain attempt. Him the almighty power
Hurl'd headlong flaming from th'ethereal lky-
With hideous ruin and combustion down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy th’Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery gulph
Confounded though immortal : but his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of loft happiness and lasting pain
Torments him ; round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affiction and dismay,
Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate :
At once as far as angels ken he views
The dismal situation waste and wild,
A dungeon horrible, on all sides round | As one great furnace filam’d. yet from those fames.
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv’d only to discover fights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end .
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd:
Such place eternal justice had prepar'd
For those rebellious, here their prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set
As far remov'd from God and light of heav'n
As from the center thrice to the utmost pole.
O how unlike the place from whence they fell !
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns, and welt’ring by his fide.
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
Beelzebub. To whom th’arch enemy,
And thence in heav'n callid Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence thus began.
If thou beeft he; but O how fallin ! how chang'd
From him, who in the happy realms of light
Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst outshine
Myriads though bright : if he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Toin'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
In equal ruin : into what pit thou seest
From what highth fallin, so much the stronger provid
He with his thunder : and till then who knew
The force of those dáre arms ? yet not for those,
Nor what the potent victor in his rage
Can elfe inflict, do I repent or change,
Though chang'd in outward luftre ; that fix'd mind,
And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit,
That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of spirits arm’d,
That durft diflike his reign, and me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse pow'r oppos'd
In dubious battel on the plains of heaven,
And took his throne. What though the field be loft?
All is not loft ; th' unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield :
And what is else not to be overcome?
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and fue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power,
Who from the terror of this arm fo late
Doubted his empire; that were low indeed,
"That were an ignominy, and fame beneath
This downfal; since 'by fate the Itrength of Gods
And this empyreal substance cannot fail,
Since through experience of this great event
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd,
We may with more successful hope refolve