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Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor;
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with now spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky;
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,
Thro' the dear might of Him that walk'd the waves
Where other groves, and other streams along,
With nectar pure

his
oozy

locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the saints above,
In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
That sing, and singing in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more;
Henceforth thou art the genius of the shore,
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.
Thus

sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rille.
While the still morn went out with sandals gray,
He touch'd the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay :
And now the sun had stretch'd out all the hills,
And now as dropp'd into the western bay;
At last he rose, and twitch'd his mantle blue:
To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.

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measure is English Heroic Verse without Rime," as that of Homer in Greek, 'irgil in Latin; Rime being no necessary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poerd Verge, in longer Works especially, but the Invention of a barbarvus Age, to fretched matter and lane Meeter; grac't indeed since by the use of some modem Poets, carried away by Custoin, but much to thir own kation, e, and constraint, to express niany things otherwise, and for the most part ben el:e they would have exprest them. Not without cause, therefore, some lian and Spanish Poets of prime note, have rejected Rime both in longer and Works, as have also, lo g since, our best English Tragedies, ils a thing of all judicious eares, triveal and of no true musical delight; which consists ipt Numbers, fit quantity of Syllables, and the sense variously drawn out

verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault by the learned Ancients both i Poetry and all good Oratory. This neglect Rime, so little is to be taken for a detect, though it may seem so perhaps to ades, that it rather is to be esteem'd an example set, ihe first in English, at liberty recover'd to Heroic Poem from the troublesom and modern of Rimeing."

From Milton's own Edition, 1669.

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BOOK I.

THE ARGUMENT

st Book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject, Man's disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise, wherein he was placed. Then touches the prime canse of his fali, tae serpent, or rather Satan in the serpent; who, revolting from God, and drawing to his side many legions of Angels, was by the command of God driven out of heaven with all his crew into the great deep. Which action passed over, the Poem hastes into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his Angels Dow fallen into hell, described here, not in the centre, for heaven and carih may be Hipposed as yet not mude, certainly not yet accursed, but in a place of utter darkDess, fitliest called Chao, Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning lake, thunderstruck and astonished, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in order and dignity lay by bim: they confer of their miserable fall. Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded : tbey rise; their numbers, array of battle, their chief leaders named, acc rding to the idols known fterwaris in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining heaven, but tells them la-tly of a new world and new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy or report in heaven: for that Angels were lung before this visible creation, was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determine thereon, he refers to a full pouncil. What bis associates thence attempt. Pandemonium, the palace of Satan, tistih, suddenly built out of the deep: the infernal Peers there sit in council.

Of Man's first disobedience and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our wody
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us and regain the blissful seat,
Sing heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd,' who first taught the chosen seed,
In the beginning how the heav'ns and earth
Rose out of Chaos; or if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brookthat flowd
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.

And chiefly thou, 0 Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss,*
And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.

Say first, for heav'n hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of hell; say first, what cause
Moved our grand Parents in that happy state,
Favour'd of heav'n so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For one restraint, lords of the world besides P
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
Th'infernal serpent; he it was, whose guila,
Stirr'd

пр
with
envy
and
revenge,

deceived
The mother of mankind, what time his pride

ܪ

1 Moses.

? A small brook that flowed near the Tomple of Jerusalem.

3 A mountain in Boeotia. In mythology, the Muses were said to dwell on its

Gen. 1.2

Had cast him out from heav'n, with all his host
Of rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trustel to have equalld the Most High,
If he opposed; and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God
Raised impious war in heav'n, and battle proud,
With vain attempt. Him the almighty Power
Hurld headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arnis
Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquish'd, rolling in the fiery golf,
Confoanded though immortal: but his doom
Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay,
Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate.
At once, as far as angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild;
A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
As one great furnace, flamed; yet from those flamen
No light, but rather darkness visible
Served only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes,
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulpnr: nnconsumed.
Such place eternal justice had prepared
For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set
As far removed from God and light of heav'n,

I Isaiah xiv. 13-15.
"Lasciato ogni speranza voi cb'

intrate," was the inscription placed by
Dante over the gates of his "Inferno."

As from the centre thrice to th' atmost pole.
O how unlike the place from whence they fel?!
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns, and welt'ring by his side
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and named
Beëlzebub:' To whom th' arch-enemy,
And thence in heav'n callid Satan,” with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence, thus began.

If thou beest he-But O how fallin! how changed
From him, who in the happy realms of light,
Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine
Myriads, though bright! If he, whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
In equal ruin : into what pit thou seest
From what height fall'n, so much the stronger proved
He with his thunder ; and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms ? yet not for those,
Nor what the potent victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent, or change,
Though changed in outward lustre, that fix'd mind
And high disdain from sense of injured merit,
That with the Mightiest raised me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd,
That durst dislike his reign; and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of heav'n,
And shook his throne. What though the field be lost
All is not lost; th' unconquerable will,
Aad study of revenge, immortal hate

1 The god of flies, worshipped by the Philistines (2 Kings 1. 2).* The Jews considered Beelzebub the greatest of the devils. See their accusation of our Lord, St. Mait. xii. 24-27 ; where it appears that with them Beelzebub and

“Satan" were synonymous names.

Milton makes them two different falen angels.

Satan is a Hebrew word, sigpifying “enemy." The enemy both of God and man.

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