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“ Of passion, I to them had quitted all,
“ At random yielded up to their misrule ;
“And know not that I call'd, and drew them thither,

My hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth
“Which man's polluting sin with taint hath shed
“On what was pure; till, cramm'd and gorg’d, nigh

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“ With suck'd and glutted offal, at one sling
“Of thy victorious arın, well-pleasing Son,
“Both Sin, and Death, and yawning grave, at last

Through Chaos hurld, obstruct the mouth of Hell
“For ever, and seal up his rav'nous jaws.
“ Then heaven and earth renew'd shall be made pure
To sanctity, that shall receive no stain :
“ Till then, the curse pronounc'd on both precedes."

He ended, and the heavenly audience loud Sung hallelujah, as the sound of seas Through multitude that sung: “Just are thy ways, “Righteous are thy decrees on all thy works; Who can extenuate thee?" Next, to the Son, “ Destin'd Restorer of mankind, by whom “ New heaven and earth shall to the ages rise, Or down from heaven descend."

Such was their song; While the Creator, calling forth by name 650 His mighty angels, gave them several charge,

As sorted best with present things. The sun
Had first his precept so to move, so shine,
As might affect the earth with cold and heat

Scarce tolerable ; and from the north to call 655 Decrepit winter; from the south to bring

Solstitial summer's heat. To the blank moon
Her office they prescrib’d: to the other five
Their planetary motions, and aspécts,

In sextile, square, and trine, and opposite, 660 Of noxious efficacy; and when to join

In synod unbenign: and taught the Fix'd
Their influence malignant when to shower ;

Which of them, rising with the sun, or falling,

Should prove tempestuous. To the winds they set 665 Their corners; when with bluster to confound

Sea, air, and shore; the thunder when to roll
With terror through the dark aërial hall.
Some say he bid his angels turn askance

The poles of earth, twice ten degrees and more, 670 From the sun's axle; they with labour push'd

Oblique the centric globe: some say, the sun
Was bid turn reins from the equinoctial road
Like-distant breadth to Taurus, with the seven

Atlantic Sisters, and the Spartan Twins,
675 Up to the tropic Crab; thence, down amain

By Leo, and the Virgin, and the Scales,
As deep as Capricorn ; to bring in change
Of seasons to each clime : else had the spring

Perpetual smild on earth with verdant flowers, 680 Equal in days and nights, except to those

Beyond the polar circles ; to them day
Had unbenighted shone, while the low sun,
To recompense his distance, in their sight

Had rounded still the horizon, and not known 685 Or east or west; which had forbid the snow

From cold Estotiland, and south as far
Beneath Magellan. At that tasted fruit
The sun, as from Thyestean banquet, turn'd

His course intended; else, how had the world 690 Inhabited, though sinless, more than now

Avoided pinching cold and scorching heat ?
These changes in the heavens, though slow, produc'd
Like change on sea and land-sideral blast,

Vapour, and mist, and exhalation hot,
695 Corrupt and pestilent. Now, from the north

Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shore,
Bursting their brazen dungeon, arm'd with ice,
And snow, and hail, and stormy gust, and flaw,

Boreas, and Cæcias, and Argestes loud,
700 And Thrascias, rend the woods, and seas upturn:

With adverse blast upturns them from the south
Notus, and Afer, black with thund'rous clouds
From Serraliona : thwart of these, as fierce,

Forth rush the Levant, and the Ponent winds, 705 Eurus and Zephyr, with their lateral noise,

Sirocco, and Libecchio. Thus began
Outrage from lifeless things: but Discord first,
Daughter of Sin, among the irrational

Death introduc'd, through fierce antipathy: 710 Beast now with beast 'gan war, and fowl with fowl,

And fish with fish: to graze the herb all leaving
Devour'd each other; nor stood much in awe
Of man, but fled him ; or, with countenance grim,

Glar'd on him passing. These were from without715 The growing miseries, which Adam saw

Already in part, though hid in gloomiest shade,
To sorrow abandoned; but worse felt within !
And, in a troubled sea of passion tost,

Thus to disburden sought with sad complaint: 720 “O miserable, of happy! Is this the end

“Of this new glorious world; and me so late
“ The glory of that glory, who now become
“ Accurs'd, of blessed? Hide me from the face

“ Of God, whom to behold was then my height 725 “ Of happiness! Yet well, if here would end

“ The misery! I deserv'd it, and would bear

My own deservings; but this will not serve: “ All that I eat, or drink, or shall beget,

“ Is propagated curse. O voice, once heard 730 Delightfully, ' Increase and multiply;'

“Now death to hear! for what can I increase,
Or multiply, but curses on my head?

Who, of all ages to succeed, but, feeling

“ The evil on him brought by me, will curse 735 “My head? Ill fare our ancestor impure:

“For this we may thank Adam !' but his thanks
“Shall be the execration. So, besides
“ Mine own that bide upon me, all from me

“ Shall with a fierce reflux on me rebound740 “On me, as on their natural centre, light:

“Heavy, though in their place. O fleeting joys
“Of Paradise, dear-bought with lasting woes!
“ Did I request thee, Maker! from my clay

“ To mould me man? Did I solicit thee
745 “ From darkness to promote me, or here place

“ In this delicious garden? As my will
“Concurr'd not to my being, it were but right
“ And equal to reduce me to my dust-

“Desirous to resign, and render back 750 “ All I receiv'd-unable to perform

“ Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold
“ The good I sought not.

To the loss of that
“ (Sufficient penalty !) why hast thou added

“ The sense of endless woes? Inexplicable
755 “ Thy justice seems ! Yet, to say truth, too late

“ I thus contest: then should have been refused
“ Those terms, whatever, when they were proposed;
Thou didst accept them: wilt thou enjoy the good,

“ Then cavil the conditions? And, though God 760 “ Made thee without thy leave, what if thy son

“ Prove disobedient; and, reprov'd, retort,
“Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not !
“ Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee

“ That proud excuse ? yet him, not thy election, 765 “But natural necessity, begot.

“God made thee of choice his own, and of his own “ To serve him; thy reward was of his grace ;

Thy punishment then justly is at his will.

“Be it so, for I submit; his doom is fair, 770 “ That dust I am, and shall to dust return:

“ welcome hour whenever! Why delays
“ His hand to execute what his decree
“ Fix'd on this day? Why do I overlive?

“ Why am I mock'd with death, and lengthen'd out 775 To deathless pain? How gladly would I meet

“Mortality-my sentence, and be earth

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“ Insensible! How glad would lay me down,
As in my mother's lap! There I should rest,
“ And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more
“ Would thunder in my ears; no fear of worse
* To me, and to my offspring, would torment me
“ With cruel expectation! Yet one doubt
“Pursues me still, lest all I cannot die ;

“ Lest that pure breath of life, the spirit of man, 785 “ Which God inspir’d, cannot together perish

“ With this corporeal clod : then, in the grave,
“Or in some other dismal place, who knows
“ But I shall die a living death? O thought

“ Horrid, if true! Yet why? It was but breath 790“ Of life that sinn'd: what dies, but what had life

“And sin? The body properly hath neither.
" All of me then shall die: let this

appease
“ The doubt, since human reach no further knows.

“For though the Lord of all be infinite, 795 “ Is his wrath also ? Be it: man is not so,

" But mortal doom'd. How can be exercise
“ Wrath without end, on man whom death must end?
“ Can he make deathless death? That were to make

Strange contradiction, which to God himself 800 “Impossible is held, as argument

“Of weakness, not of power. Will he draw out,
“For anger's sake, finite to infinite,
" In punish'd man, to satisfy his rigour,

“ Satisfied never? That were to extend
805 “ His sentence beyond dust and nature's law,

“By which all causes else, according still
“ To the reception of their matter, act;
“ Not to the extent of their own sphere. But say
“ That death be not one stroke, as I suppos'd,

Bereaving sense; but endless misery
“ From this day onward, which I feel begun
“ Both in me, and without me, and so last
“To perpetuity : ay me! that fear
“Comes thundering back with dreadful revolution

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