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Sometimes tow‘ards Heav'n, and the full-blazing sun, Which now sat high in his meridian tower: 30 Then, nuch revolving, thus in sighs began.
“O thou, that, with surpassing glory crown'd, Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God of this new world; at whose sight all the stars Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, 35 But with no friendly voice, and add thy name, O Sun! to tell thee how I bate 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 Heav'n against Heav'n's matchless King: Ah! wh-refore! he deserv'd 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. 45 What could be less than to afford him praise, The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks, How due ! yet all his good prov'd ill in me, And wrought but malice ; lifted up so high I 'sdein'd subjection, and thought one step higher 50 Would set me high'st, and in a moment quit The debt immense of endless gratitude, So burdensome still paying, still to owe, Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd, And understood not that a grateful mind
55 By owing owes not, but still pays, at once Indebted and discharg'd; what burden then? O had his pow'rful destiny ordain'd Me some inferior angel, I had stood Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd 60 Ambition! Yet why not? some other power As grat inight have aspir'd, and me, though mean, Drawn to his part; but other pow'rs as great Fell not. but stand unshaker, from within Or from without, to all temptations arm’d. 65 Hadst thou the sanje free will and pow'r to stand ? Thou ladst : whom hast thou then or what to' accuse,
But Heav'n's free love dealt equally to all ?
80 None left but by submission; and that word Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame Among the spi'rits beneath, whom I seduc'd With other promises and other vaunts Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
85 Th’Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know How dearly I abide that boast so vain, Under what torments inwardly I groan, While they adore me on the throne of Hell. With diadem and sceptre high advancd,
90 The lower still I fall, only supreme 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 recal high thoughts, how soon unsay 95 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 pierc'd so deep; Which would but lead me to a worse relapse 100 And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear Short intermission bought with double smart. This knows my Punisher; therefore as far From granting be, as I from begging peace : All hope excluded thus, behold, in stead
105 of us out-cast, exild, his new delight,
Mankind created, and for him this world.
Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face Thrice chang'd with pale, ire, envy, and despair; 115 Which marrd hris borrow'd visage, and betray'd Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld: For heav'nly minds from such distr-mpers foul Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware, Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calın, 120 Artificer of firaud; and was the first That practis'd falsehood under saintly show, Deep malice to conceal, couchi'd with revenge: Yet not enough had practis'd to deceive Uriel once warn'd; whose eye pursued him down 125 The way he went, and on th' Assyrian mount Saw him disfigur'd, more than could befal Spirit of happy sort: his gestures fierce He mark'd and mad demeanour, then alone, As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen.
130 So on he fares, and to the border comes Of Eden, where delicious Paradise, Now nearer, crowns with her inclosure green, As with a rural mound, the champaign head Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
135 With thicket overgrown, grotesqne and wild, Access deny'd; and over head up grew Insuperable height of loftiest shade, Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm, Asylvan scene, and, as the ranks ascend; 140 Shade above shade, a woody theatre Of staleliest view. Yet higher than their
tops The verdrous wall of Paradise up sprung: Which to our general sire gave prospect large Into his nether empire Deiglab'ring round.
And higher than that wail a circling row
170 From Medea post to Egypt. there fast bound,
Now to th' ascent of that steep savage hill
Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve, 185
195 Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life Thereby regain'd, but sat devising death To them who liv'd; nor on the virtue thought Of that life-giving plant, but only us'd For prospect, what, well us’d, had been the pledge 200 Of immortality. So little knows Any, but God alone, to value right The good before him, but perverts best things To worst abuse, or to their meanest use. Beneath him with new wonder now he views, 205 To all delight of human sense exposid, In narrow room Nature's whole wealth, yea more, A Heav'n on Earth: for blissful Paradise Of God the garden was, by him in th' east Of Eden planted; Eden stretch'd her line
210 From Aurap eastward to the royal towers Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings, Or where the sons of Eden long before Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soil His far more pleasant garden God ordain'dir
215 Out of the fertile ground he caus'd to grow All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste; And all amid them stood the tree of life, High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit of vegetable gold; and next to life,
220 Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by, Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill. Southward through Edeu went a river large,