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Still ending, still renewing, through mid heav'n,
With borrow'd light her countenance triform
Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' earth,
And in her pale dominion checks the night.
That spot to which I point is paradise,
Adam's abode, those lofty shades his bow'r :
Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires.

Thus said, he turn'd, and Satan bowing low,
As to superior spirits is wont in heaven,
Where honour due and reverence none neglects,
Took leave, and toward the coast of earth beneath,
Down from th' ecliptic, sped with hoped success,
Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel,
Nor stay'd, till on Niphates' top'he lights.

! A mountain bordering on Mesopotamia, near which the earthly paradise is supposed to have been placed.-From HUME,

BOOK IV.

THE ARGUMENT.

Satan now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprise 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 the highest in the garden to look about him. The garden described ; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall : overhears their discourse, thenco 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 means. Meanwhile Uriel descending on a sunbeam 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 afterwards 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 nightwatch to walk the round of paradise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's bower, 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 bim, though unwilling, to Gabriel ; by whom questioned, 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 cry in heaven aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be revenged on men,
“Woe to the inhabitants on earth!” that now,
While time was, our first parents had been warn'a
The coming of their secret foe, and ’scaped,
Haply so 'scaped his mortal snare; for now
Satan, now first inflamed with rage, came down,
The tempter ere th' accuser of mankind,
To wreak on innocent frail man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to hell :
Yet not rejoicing in his speed, though bold,
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
Begins his dire attempt, which, nigh the birth
Now rolling, boils in his tumultuous breast,
And like a devilish engine back recoils

I St. John. Rev. xii. 10. "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ::::: and at verse 12, "Woe to the inhabiters

of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you. .

2 Devil,

By act of grace my former state; how soon
Would highth recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign’d 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
Short intermission bought with double smart.
This knows my Punisher; therefore as far
From granting He, as I from begging peace:
All hope excluded thus, behold in stead
Of us out-cast, 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 heav'n's King I hold;
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long and this new world shall know.

Thus while he spake, each passion dimm`d his face
Thrice changed with pale ire, envy, and despair,
Which marr'd his borrow'd visage, and betray'd
Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld :
For heav'nly minds from such distempers foul
Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware
Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm,
Artificer of fraud; and was the first
That practised falsehood under saintly show,
Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge.
Yet not enough had practised to deceive
Uriel once warn'd; whose eye pursued him down
The way he went, and on th’ Assyrian mount
Saw him disfigured, more than could befall
Spirit of happy sort: his gestures fierce
He mark'd and mad demeanour, then alone,
As he supposed, all unobserved, unseen.
So on he fares, and to the border comes
Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,
Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,

!

As with a rural mound, the champain head
Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild,
Access denied; and over head up grew
Insuperable highth of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
A sylvan scene, and, as the ranks ascend
Shade above shade, a woody theatre
Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops
The verdurous wall of Paradise up sprung ;
Which to our general sire gave prospect large
Into his nether empire neighbouring round.
And higher than that wall a circling row
Of goodliest trees loaden with fairest fruit,
Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue
Appear'd, with gay enamellid colours mixt:
On which the sun more glad impress’d his beams,
Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow,
When God hath shower'd the earth; so lovely seem'd
That landscape: and of pure now purer air
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
All sadness but despair : now gentle gales
Fanning their odoriferous wings dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore

1 The perfumes from the shores of India and its islands can be perceived far out at sea, when the wind blows off the land

“The spicy breezes Blow soft from Ceylon's isle,” says Bishop Heberin his fine Missionary Hymn; and every one who has lived in the East will remember how oppressive on shore the scent-laden air, heavy with perfume, is. How constantly it recalls to one's mind Byron's exquisite lines in the “ Bride of Abydos”.

“The light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd

with perfume, Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gul in her

bloom :" but coming on the briny sea breezes this fragrance is delightful to the mariner. It is in spring, when the wind blows off the shore, that the air thus becomes the harbinger of a near haven.

Milton is said to have taken his description from Diodorus Siculus, B. III. 40,Notes on GRAY.

Of Araby the blest, with such delay
Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league
Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles :
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the fiend
Who came their bane, though with them better pleased
Than Asmodeus' with the fishy fume,
That drove him, though enamour'd, from the spouse
Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent
From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.
Now to th' ascent of that steep savage

hill
Satan had journey'd on, pensive and slow;
But further way found none, so thick entwined
As one continued brake, the undergrowth
Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex'd
All path of man or beast that past that way.
One gate there only was, and that look'd east
On th' other side: which when th' arch-felon saw,
Due entrance he disdain’d, and in contempt
At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound
Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within
Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf,
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve
In hurdled cotes amid the field secure,
Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold:
Or as a thief bent to unhoard the cash
Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors,
Cross-barr'd and bolted fast, fear no assault,
In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles :
So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold;
So since into his church lewd hirelings climb.
Thence

up he flew, and on the Tree of Life,
The middle tree and highest” there that grew,
Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life
Thereby regain’d, but sat devising death

1 An evil spirit, who, loving Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, would not suffer any of the young men who espoused her to live. He was exorcised by the fumes arising from the heart and liver

of a fish, which Tobit, by the instruction of an angel, burnt on the evening of his wedding. See Apocrypha, Tobit, viii. .

2 Gen. ii. 9.

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