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THE ARGUMENT. Satan now in prospe&t of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprize which he undertook alone against God and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair ; but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and situation is described, overleaps the bounds, sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden described; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent for mi and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death ; and thereon intends to found his temptation, by seducing them to transgress: then leaves them awhile, to know further of their state by some other ineans. Mean while Uriel descending on a sun-beam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil Spirit had escaped the deep, and passed at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good Angel down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest : their bower described; their evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong Angels to Adam's bewer, lest the evil Spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Cabriel; by whom questioner!, he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but hindered by a sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise.
O FOR that warning voice, which he who saw Th’ Apocalypse heard
in Heav'n aloud, Then when the Dragon, put to second rout, Came furious down to be reveng'd on men, “ Woe to th’ inhabitants on earth!" that now, While time was, our first parents had been warn'd
The coming of their secret foe, and scap'd,
O thou that with surpassing glory crown'd, Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, But with no friendly voice, and add thy nane O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere; Till pride and worse ambition threw me down 40 Warring in Heav'n against Heav'n's matchless king: Ah wherefore! he deserv'd no such return From me, whom he created what I was In that bright entinence, and with his good 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’sdein'd subjection, and thought one step higher 50 Would set me high’est, and in a moment quit The debt immense of endless gratitude, So burdensome still paying, still to owe, Forgetful what froin him I still receiv'd, And understood not that a grateful mind By owing owes not, but still pays, at once Indebted and discharg'd; what burden then? O had his pow'rful destiny ordain'd Me some inferior Angel, I liad stood Then happy ; no unbounded hope had rais'd' 6o Ambition. Yet why not? Some other Power As great might have aspir'd, and me though mear Drzwn to his part; but other Pow'rs as great Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within Or from without, to all temptations arm’d. Hadst thou the same free will and pow'r to stand ? Thou hads:: whom hast thou then or what to'accuse,
But Heav'n's free love dealt equally to all ?
For never can true reconcilement grow,
Thus while he spake, each passion dimm d his face