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INTRODUCTION TO PARADISE LOST. OF 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 blissful seat, Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

5 That shepherd, 4 who first taught the chosen seed, In the beginning how the heavens and earth Rose out of Chaos :6 or, if Sion hill? Delight Thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd Fast by the oracle of God,' I thence

Invoke Thy aid to my adventurous song, 10 1 Milton invokes God Himself to in- forth at the creation. Notice the

spire him to sing of the loss of inversion of the sentence. God Eden and its results.

taught Moses "how the heavens 2 Oreb, or Horeb, a lower peak of and earth rose, &c., in the begin

Mount Sinai, which still bears ning," not “ taught Moses in the the same name. The word means beginning," &c. " the dry,” “ the desert.” Some, ? Sion hill, one of the hills on however, think it was the general which Jerusalem was built. It name for the whole mountain was spoken of as the dwelling group, of which Sinai was a par- place of God—“O Thou that ticular peak.

dwellest in Zion"-from the 3 Sinai, the mountain in the Arabian Temple being in Jerusalem.

Peninsula, near the Red Sea, 8 Siloa's brook. The spring and where God delivered the Law to pool of Siloam are at the S.E. Moses.

corner of Jerusalem, 4 Moses--who lived, at the time, as a 9 The Temple. shepherd, in that region.

10 He invokes God to help him out 5 the chosen seed, the people of of Zion, and from beside Siloa's Israel.

brook, if that delight Him more 6 Chaos, the dark and shapeless than Horeb or Sinai, i.e. if He now confusion which Scripture says

dwell there, existed before God brought order


That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above the Aonian mount," while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
And chiefly Thou, 0 Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples the upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou knowest; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread,
Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast Abyss, 18
And mad’st it pregnant: what in me is dark
Illumine; what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great argument14
I may assert16 Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.

Say first-for Heaven hides nothing from Thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell; say, first, what cause
Moved our grand Parents, in that happy state,
Favour'd of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress His will
For one restraint,16 lords of the world besides?
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?

The infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile,
Stirred up with envy

The mother of mankind, 17 what time his pride
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host
Of rebel Angels; by whose aid, aspiring

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il Mount Helicon, in Boeotia, in

Greece, the seat of the Muses. 12 The Holy Spirit. 13 Gen. 1, 2. Milton uses the Hebrew

word exactly aright when he says,

“dove like, sat'st brooding." 14 That through all the grandeur of

this great subject of discourse.

15 assert, maintain successfully

(the wisdom and goodness of Pro

vidence.) 16 On account of one restraint-one

prohibition, "although lords, "&c. 17 Eve.


To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equalled the Most High,
If he opposed; and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God
Raised impious war in Heaven, and battle proud,
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
Hurld headlong, flaming, from the ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition; there to dwell
In adamantinel' chains and penal fire,20
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men,21 he, with his horrid crew,
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery golf,
Confounded, though immortal. But his doom
Reserved him to more wrath; for, now, the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him: round he throws his baleful eyes, 22
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay,
Mixed with obdurate23 pride and steadfast hate.
At once, as far as Angel's ken,24 he views
The dismal situation waste and wild.
A dungeon horrible on all sides round,
As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames
No light; but rather darkness visible
Served only to discover sights of woe,

18 sky, the upper sky, which the 22 Eyes full of misery and terror, pure ether fills.

mingled with pride and hate. 19 adamantine, unbreakable_lit. 23 obdurate, hardened against hard as diamond,

(God). 20 penal fire, fire kindled as a 21 As the ken, or range of sight, of an punishment

angel. 21 After falling from heaven, Satan, with his host, lay stunned, and confounded. 25 utter-outer, farthest off-hence,

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 unconsumed ;
Such place Eternal Justice had prepared
For those rebellious; here their prison ordained
In utter25 darkness, and their portion set,
As far removed from God and light of heaven,
As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole.26

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He scarce had ceased, when the superior Fiend
Was moving toward the shore:1 his ponderous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist+ views
At evening, from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe.
His spear-to equal which the tallest pine,



perfect, total. 26 As thrice from the centre of the

earth to the pole on which, not the world, but the universe re

volves. i the shore of the burning lake. 2 Of surpassing hardness, such as we

may suppose of a shield tempered

in the ethereal or heavenly re

gions 3 optic glass, the telescope. 4 Galileo. He first employed the

telescope for astronomical pur

poses, in 1609. 5 A height close to Florence. 6 Valdarno, the Vale of the River




Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral,” were but a wand-
He walked with, to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marle; not like those steps
On heaven's azure; and the torrid8 clime
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire.
Nathless' he so endured, till on the beach
Of that inflamèdio sea he stood, and callid
His legions—Angel Forms, who lay entranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strowll the brooks
In Vallombrosa,12 where the Etrurian 3 shades,
High over-archid, imbower; or scattered sedge14
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion15 armed
Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o’erthrew
Busiris16 and his Memphiana chivalry,
While with perfidious 8 hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen,19 who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcases


' ammiral, or admiral, here, of the

ship, also, an admiral. torrid, scorching. 9 nathless, nevertheless, an old

and " belt." It was supposed to bring stormy weather at some

English word used by Chaucer,

but seemingly not by Shakspeare. 10 inflamed, burning. Il strow. This would now be strew. 12 Vallombrosa, "The shady val

ley,” 18 miles from Florence.

Milton was at Florence in 1638. 13 Etrurian, Tuscan. 14 sedge, flags or coarse grass. The

Red Sea is in Hebrew "The

Weedy Sea." 15 The constellation Orion is called

armed because of its "sword"

seasons. 16 Busiris, an Egyptian king, very

hostile to foreigners. Milton supposes it was he who pursued the Israelites when they fled from

Egypt. 17 Memphian, from Memphis, the

capital of Lower Egypt. It stands

for Egyptian. 18 perfidious, treacherous. 19 sojourners of Goshen, the

Israelites. Goshen was a district of Lower Egypt, near the coast, on the east side of the Nile, and thus close to Memphis.

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