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النشر الإلكتروني

And am I now upbraided as the cause
Of thy transgressing? not enough severe,
It seems in thy restraint; what could I inore?
I warn’d thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold
The danger, and the lurking enemy
That lay in wait; beyond this had been force,
And force upon free will hath here no place.
But confidence then bore thee on, secure
Either to meet no danger, or to find
Matter of glorious trial: and perhaps
I also errd in overmuch admiring
What seem'd in thee so perfect, that I thought
No evil durst attempt thee; but I rue
That error now which is become my crime,
And thou th’accuser. Thus it shall befall
Him who to worth in women overtrusting,
Lets her will rule: restraint she will not brook ;
And left to herself, if evil thence ensue,
She first his weak indulgence will accuse.

Thus they in mutual accusation spent
The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning,
And of their vain contest appear'd no end.

Book the Centh.

THE ARGUMENT. Man's transgression known, the guardian Angels for

sake Paradise, and return up to Heaven to prove their vigilance, and are approved, God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors; who descends, and gives sentence accord. ingly; then in pity clothes them both, and re-ascends. Sin and Death sitting till then at the gates of Hell, by wonderous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in Hell, but to follow Satan, their sire, up to the place of man: To make the way easier from hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad highway or bridge over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made ; then preparing for earth, they meet him, proud of his success, returning to hell ; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Par. demonium, in full assembly relates with boasting his success against man; instead of applause, is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience transformed, with himself also, suddenly into ser. pents, according to his doom given in Paradise : then deluded with a show of theforbidden tree springing up before them, they greedily reaching to taste of the fruit, chew dust and bitter shes. ceedings of Sin and Death: God foretells the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but for the present commands his da

The pro

gels to make several alterations in the heavens and elements. Adam more and more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily bewails; rejects the condole ment of Eve: she persists, and at length appeases him: Then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not ;, but conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the latë promise made them, that her seed should be revenged of the serpent, and exhorts her, with him, to seek peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication.

M

EANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act

of Satan done in Paradise, and how
He in the serpent had perverted Eve,
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in heav'n; for what can 'scape the eye
Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart
Omniscient? who in all things wise and just,
Hindered not Satan to attempt the mind.
Of man, with strength intire, and free-will arm’d,
Complete to have discover'd and repuls'd
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
For still they knew,and ought to have still remember'd,
The high injunction not to taste that fruit.
Whoever tempted; which, they not obeying,
Incurrd (what could they less?) the penalty,
And manifold in sin, deserv'd to fall.

Up into Heav'n from Paradise in haste
Th’angelic guards ascended, mute and sad
For Man; for of his state by this they knew,
Much wond'ring how the subtle fiend had stoln
Entrance unseen. Soon as the unwelcome news
From earth arriy'd at heaven-gate, displeas'd
All were who heard; dim sadness did not spare
That time-celestial visages, yet mix'd
With pity, siolated not their bliss,

About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes
Thi ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befel: they tow'rds the throne supreme
Accountable made haste, to make appear
With righteous plea their utnost vigilance;
And easily approvd: when the most high
Eternal Father, from his secret cloud,
Amidst in thunder utter'd thus his voice:

Assembled Angels, and ye pow'rs return'd
From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd,
Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth,
Which your sincerest care could not prevent,
Foretold so lately what would come to pass,
When first this tempter crossd the gulf from Hell.
I told ye then he should prevail and speed
On his bad errand; man shoald be seduc'd
And flatter'd out of all, believing lies
Against his Maker: no decree of mine
Concurring to necessitate his fall,
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
His free will, to her own inclining left
In even scale. But fallin he is: and now
What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass
On his transgression, death denounc'd that day?
Which he presumes already vain and void,
Because not yet inflicted, as he feard,
By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find
Forbearance no acquittance, ere day end
Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd.
But whom send I to judge them ? whom but thee
Vicegerent Son? to thee I have transferr'd
All judgment, wheth'r in heav'n, or earth, or hell.
Easy it may be seen that I intend
Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee
Man's friend, his mediator, his design'd
Both ransom and redeemer voluntary,
And destin'd man himself to judge man fall'n:

So spake the Father, and unfolding bright Tow'rd the right hand his glory, and the Son

Blazd forth unclouded deity: the full
Resplendent all his Father manifest
Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd mild:

Father eternal, thine is to decree;
Mine, both in heav'n and earth, to do thy will
Supreme, that thou in me thy Son belov'd
Mayst ever rest well pleas'd. I go to judge
On earth these thy transgressors; but thou kulow'st,
Whoever judg'd, the worst on me must light,
When time shall be; for so I undertook
Before thee; and not repenting, this obtain
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom,
On me deriv'd; yet I shall temper so
Justice and mercy, as may illustrate most
Them fully satisfy'd, and thee appease.
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none
Are to behold the judgment, but the jurig'd,
Those two; the third best absent is condemn'd,
Convict by flight, and rebel to all law;
Conviction to the serpent none belongs.

Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose of high collateral glory; himn thrones and pow'rs, Princedoms and doininations ministrant Accompanied to heaven-gate, from whence Eden and all the coast in prospect lay. Down he descended straight; the speed of gods Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes wing'd. Now was the sun in western cadence low From noon, and gentle airs due at their hour To fan the earth now wak'd, and usher in The ev’ning cool; when he, froin wrath more cool, Came, the inild judge and intercessor both, To sentence man. The voice of God they heard Now, walking in the garden, by soft winds Brought to their ears, while day declin'd; they heard, And from his presence hid themselves among The thickest trees, both man and wife; till God Approaching, thus to Adam call'd aloud:

Where art thou, Adam, wont with joy to meet

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