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Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine ;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair,
Presented with a universal blank
Of Nature's works, to me expunged and rased,
And wisdom, at one entrance, quite shut out.
So much the rather thou, celestial Light,
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate; there plant eyes; all mist from thence
O thou that with surpassing glory crowned, Lookst from thy sole dominion like the god Of this new world ; at whose sight all the stars Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call, But with no friendly voice, and add thy name 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, Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless King; And wherefore ? He deserved no such return From me, whom he created what I was In that bright eminence, and with his good Upbraided none; nor was his service hard. What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks,
How due ! yet all his good proved ill in me,
And wrought but malice ; lifted up so high,
I 'sdained subjection, and thought one step higher
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 received,
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
In lebted and discharged ; what burden then ?
O had his powerful destiny ordained
Me son e inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised
Anibition. Yet why not? some other power
As great might have aspired, and me though mean
Drawn to his part: but other powers as great
Or from without, to all temptations arıned.
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ?
Thou hadst; whom hast thou then, or what t'accuse,
But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all ?
Be then his love accursed, since love or hate,
To me alike it deals eternal wo.
Nay, cursed 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 Ay is Hell; myself am Hell ;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me, opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven,
() then at last relent; is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left ?
None ieft but by submission ; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
The Omnipotent. Ah me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
With diadem and sceptre high advanced,
In misery; such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent, and could obtain
By act of grace my former state : how soon
Would height 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 pierced so deep;
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall: so should I purchase. dear
This knows my punisher; therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace:
All hope excluded thus, behold instead
Of us outcast, exiled, 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
Divided empire with Heaven's King I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign :
As man ere long, and this new world, shall know.
O unexpected stroke, worse than of death! Must I thus leave thee, Paradise ? thus leave Thee, native soil! these happy walks and shades, Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend, Quiet though sad, the respite of that day That must be mortal to us both. O Flowers, That never will in other climate grow, My early visitation and my last At even, which I bred up with tender hand From the first opening bud, and gave ye names ! Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount? Thee, lastly, nuptial bower! by me adorned With what to sight or smell was sweet! from thee How shall I part and whither wander down Into a lower world ; to this obscure And wild ? How shall we breathe in other air Less pure, accustomed to immortal fruits ?
To whom thus Michael. Death thou hast seen In his first shape on man; but many shapes Hath Death, and many are the ways that lead
To his grim cave all dismal; yet to sense
More terrible at the entrance, than within.
Some, as thou sawest, by violent stroke shall die ;
By fire, flood, famine, by intemperance more
In meats and drinks, which on the earth shall bring
Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
Before thee shall appear ; that thou mayst know
What misery the inabstinence of Eve
Shall bring on men.
Immediately a place
Before his eyes appeared, sad, noisome, dark ;
A lazar-house it seemed; wherein were laid
Numbers of all diseased; all maladies
Of ghastly spasm, or racking torture, qualms
Of heart-sick agony; all feverous kiids ;
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs,
Intestine stone and ulcer, colick pangs,
Demoniack frenzy, moping melancholy,
And moon-struck madness; pining atrophy,
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence;
Dropsies, and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums.
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans. Despair
Tended the sick, busiest from couch to couch;
And over them triumphant Death his dart
Shook ; but delayed to strike, though oft invol od
With vows, as their chief good, and final hope.
Sight so deform what heart of rock could long Dry-eyed behold ? Adam could not, but wept, Though not of woman born : compassion quelled His best of man, and gave him up to tears A space, till firmer thoughts restrained excess ; And scarce recovering words, his plaint renewed.