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In that bright eminence, and with his good 44
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks,
How due yet all his good prov’d ill in me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
I sdeined subjection, and thought one step higher 50
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome still paying, still to owe,
Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd,
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharged; what burden then {
0 had his powerful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferiour Angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised 60
Ambition 1 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
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:
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 :
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide,

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To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven. 78
0 then at last relent: Is there no place
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
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
The Omnipotent. Ay 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.
With diadem and scepter high advanc'd 90
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 highth recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feigned 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 :
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, 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;
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; 112
As Man erelong, and this new world, shall know.
Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face
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,
Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm, 120
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
Uriel once warn'd ; whose eye pursued him down
The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount
Saw him disfigurd, more than could befall
Spirit of happy sort : His gestures fierce
He mark'd, and mad demeanour, then alone,
As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen. 130
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 champain head
Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
With thicket overgrown, grottesque and wild,
Access denied; and overhead up grew
Insuperable highth of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
A sylvan scene; and, as the ranks ascend 140
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
Into his nether empire neighbouring round.

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And higher than that wall a circling row 146
Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit,
Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue,
Appeard, with gay enamell'd colours mix'd :
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
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
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past 160
Mozambick, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the blest : with such delay
Well pleas'd they slack their course, and many a league
Cheerd with the grateful smell old Ocean Smiles: -
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the Fiend,
Who came their bane : though with them better pleased
Than Asmodéus? 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 entwin'd,
As one continued brake, the undergrowth
Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex'd
All path of man, or beast that pass'd that way.

* Mozambique,' Straits of dividing Madagascar from Africa.--" "Asmodeus:" see Tobit in Apocrypha.

One gate there only was, and that look'd east 178
On the other side : which when the arch-felon saw,
Due entrance he disdain'd; and, in contempt,
At one slight bound high over-leap'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
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.
Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life,
The middle tree and highest there that grew,
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 life-giving plant, but only us'd
For prospect, what, well us'd, had been the pledge 200
Of immortality. So little knows
Any, but God alone, to value right
The good before him, but perverts best things
To worst abuse, or to their meanest use.
Beneath him, with new wonder now he views,
To all delight of human sense expos'd,
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

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