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Satan having compafs'd the Earth, with meditated guile returns as a mift by night into Paradife, enters into the Serpent fleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labors, which Eve propofes to divide in feveral places, each laboring apart: Adam confents not, alledging the danger, left, that enemy, of whom they were forewarn'd, fhould "attempt her found alone: Eve, loath to be thought not circumfpect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather defirous to make trial of her ftrength; Adam at last yields: The Serpent finds her alone; his fubtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the Serpent speak, afks how he attain'd to human fpeech and fuch understanding not till now; the Serpent anfwers, that by tafting of a certain tree in the garden he attain'd both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden: The Serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; fhe pleas'd with the tafte deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last brings him of the fruit, relates what perfuaded her to eat thereof: Adam at first amaz'd, but perceiving her loft, refolves through vehemence of love to perifh with her; and extenuating the trespass eats alfo of the fruit: The effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakednefs; then fall to variance and accufation of one another.




I Pintard Servofzu

O more of talk where God or Angel guest

With Man, as with his friend, familiar us'd

To fit indulgent, and with him partake

Rural repaft, permitting him the while

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Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach

Difloyal on the part of Man, revolt,

And difobedience: on the part of Heaven

Now alienated, distance and distaste,

Anger and juft rebuke, and judgment given,
That brought into this world a world of woe,
Sin and her fhadow Death, and Mifery
Death's harbinger: Sad tafk, yet argument
Not lefs but more heroic than the wrath
of ftern Achilles on his foe purfu'd
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia difefpous'd,
Or Neptune's ire or Juno's, that so long
Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's fon;
If answerable ftile I can obtain
Of my celestial patronefs, who deigns
Her nightly vifitation unimplor'd

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And dictates to me flumb'ring, or infpires

Eafy my unpremeditated verse:

Since first this fubject for heroic fong

Pleas'd me long choofing, and beginning late;

Not fedulous by nature to indite

Wars, hitherto the only argument

Heroic deem'd, chief mast'ry to diffect


With long and tedious havoc fabled knights
In battels feign'd; the better fortitude
Of patience and heroic martyrdom
Unfung; or to defcribe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields,
Impreffes quaint, caparisons and steeds;
Bafes and tinfel trappings, gorgeous knights
At jouft and torneament; then marshal'd feast
Serv'd up in hall with fewers, and feneshals;
The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroic name
To perfon or to poem. Me of these
Nor skill'd nor ftudious, higher argument
Remains, fufficient of itself to raise

That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years damp my intended wing
Deprefs'd, and much they may, if all be mine,
Not hers who brings it nightly to my ear.





The fun was funk, and after him the ftar Of Hefperus, whofe office is to bring

Twilight upon the earth, short arbiter

'Twixt day and night, and now from end to end Night's hemifphere had veil'd th' horizon round:



When Satan who late fled before the threats
Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd

In meditated fraud and malice, bent
On Man's deftruction, maugre what might hap
Of heavier on himfelf, fearlefs return'd.
By night he fled, and at midnight return'd
From compaffing the earth, cautious of day,
Since Uriel regent of the fun defcry'd



His entrance, and forewarn'd the Cherubim
That kept their watch; thence full of anguifh driven,
The space of fev'n continued nights he rode
With darknefs, thrice the equinoctial line


He circled, four times crofs'd the car of night
From pole to pole, travérfing each colure;
On th' eighth return'd, and on the coaft averfe
From entrance or Cherubic watch, by stealth
Found unfufpected way. There was a place,
Now not, though fin, not time, firft wrought the change,
Where Tigris at the foot of Paradife
Into a gulf fhot under ground, till part
Rofe up a fountain by the tree of life;
In with the river funk, and with it rofe
Satan involv'd in rifing mift, then fought
Where to lie hid; fea he had fearch'd and land
From Eden over Pontus, and the pool
Mæotis, up beyond the river Ob;
Downward as far antarctic; and in length
Weft from Orontes to the ocean barr'd
At Darien, thence to the land where flows
Ganges and Indus: thus the orb he roam'd

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