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Satan, baving compassed the earth with meditated guile,

returns as a mist by night into Paradise, enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, wbicb Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart : Adam consents not, alleging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt ber, found alone : Eve, lotb to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges ber going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of ber strength : Adam at last yields : The Serpent finds ber alone ; bis fubtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much fattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to bear the Serpent speak, asks bow be attained to buman speech and such understanding not till now : the Serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden be attained both to speech and reason; till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge, forbidden : The Serpent, now grown bolder, with

wiles and arguments, induces ber at length to eat; she, pleased with the taste, deliberates a wbile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last brings bim of the fruit, relates what persuaded ber to eat thereof : Adam, at first amazed, but perceiving ber lost, resolves, through vebemence of love, to perish with ber; and extenuating the trespass, eats also of the fruit : The effects thereof in them botb; they seek to cover their nakedness ; tben fall 10 variance and accusation of one another.





O more of talk where God or Angel guest

With Man, as with his friend, familiar us'd To sit indulgent, and with him partake Rural repast, permitting him the while Venial discourse, unblam'd: I now must change 5 Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt, And disobedience : on the part of Heav'n Now alienated, distance and distaste, Anger and just rebuke, and judgment giv'n, 10 That brought into this world a world of woe, Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery, Death's harbinger. Sad task ! yet argument Not less but more heroic than the wrath Of stern Achilles on his foe pursu'd

15 Thrice fugitive about Troy wall ; or rage Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd, Or Neptune's ire or Juno's, that so long


Perplexd the Greek and Cytherea's son:
Itanswerable stile I can obtain
Ofmy celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplor’d,
And dictates to me slumb'ring, or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse.
Since tirst this subjart for heroic song 25
l'leasd me long choosing, and beginning late;
Not selulous by nature to indite
Wars, hitherto the only argument
Hervic dermi chiet mast'ry to dissect
With long and serious havoc tabl'd knights 30
In battles teignus the better fortitude
Ot patience and hervic martyrdom
l'nsung; or to describe' races and games,
Or tilting furniture, emblazon'd shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds ; 35
Bases and tinsel trappings, guryeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshald feast
Servd up in hall with sewers and seneschals;
The skill ot artifice or ottice mean,
Not that which justly gives hervic name
To person or to poem. Me of these
Nor skilld nor studious, higher argument
Remains surficient ot itselt to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years, damp my intended wing 45
Depress'd, and much they may, if all be mine,
Not hers who brings it nightly to my ear.

The sun was sunk, and atter him the star


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Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Twilight upon the earth, short arbiter

50 'Twixt day and night, and now from end to end Night's hemisphere had veil'd th' horizon round, When Satan, who late fled before the threats Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd In meditated fraud and malice, bent

55 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 compassing the earth, cautious of day, Since Uriel, regent of the sun, descry'd 60 His entrance, and forewarn'd the Cherubim That kept their watch : thence full of anguish

driv'n, The space of sev'n continu'd nights he rode With darkness; thrice the equinoctial line He circled; four times cross'd the car of night 65 From pole to pole, traversing each colure; On th' eighth return'd, and on the coast averse From entrance or Cherubic watch, by stealth Found unsuspected way. There was a place, Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought the change,

70 Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise Into a gulf shot under ground, till part Rose up a fountain by the tree of life: Li with the river sunk, and with it rose Satan involv'd in rising mist, then sought 75 Where to lie hid. Sea he had search'd and land

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