Slike strani

English rhyme = A, ?, AB, CD, CD, 27, 87, 9 g,

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D All is, if I have grace to use it so,

As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.



The labor of an age in pilèd stones?

Or that his hallowed relics should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame, 5
What need'st thou such weak witness of
thy name?

Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a livelong monument.
For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavor-
ing art,

Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart




What needs my Shakespeare for his No less renowned than War: new foes honored bones


Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains.

Help us to save free conscience from the

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Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a

Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way
hast ploughed,

1 invaluable.

And Worcester's laureate wreath: yet much remains

To conquer still; Peace hath her vic



Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their



When I consider how my light is spent Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,

And that one talent which is death to hide

Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent


To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
"Doth God exact day-labor, light de-

I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth

not need


Either man's work or his own gifts.
Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best.
His state

Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without


AT THE COMMITTEE FOR PROPAGATION They also serve who only stand and wait."


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Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old,

When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones,

Forget not: in thy book record their groans


Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold

Slain by the bloody Piedmontese, that rolled

Purification in the old law did save,

And such as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,

Mother with infant down the rocks. Their Came vested all in white, pure as her mind. Her face was veiled; yet to my fancied sight Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined


So clear as in no face with more delight.
But, oh! as to embrace me she inclined,
I waked, she fled, and day brought back
my night.


The vales redoubled to the hills, and they To heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow


O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway

The triple tyrant; that from these may grow

A hundredfold, who, having learnt thy

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Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,

Rescued from Death by force, though pale and faint.

This thought might lead me through the
world's vain mask
Content, though blind, had I no better

ON HIS DECEASED WIFE Methought I saw my late espoused saint Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,

Mine, as whom washed from spot of childbed taint





This First 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 cause of his fall,-the 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 hastens into the midst of things; presenting Satan, with his Angels, now fallen into Hell-described here, not in the Center (for Heaven and earth may be supposed as yet not made, certainly not yet accursed), but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Chaos. 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 him: they confer of their miserable fall. Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded. They rise; their numbers; array of battle; their

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chief leaders named, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech; comforts them with hope yet of regaining Heaven; but tells them lastly 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 long 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 council. What his associates thence attempt. Pandemonium, the palace of Satan, rises, 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 woe,


With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, Heavenly Muse, that on the secret

Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd who first taught the chosen

In the beginning how the heavens and


Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that

Fast' by the oracle of God, I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
And chiefly Thou, O Spirit, that dost pre-

1 close.

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Illumine; what is low, raise and support;
That to the highth of this great argument
I may assert 2 Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.

Say first for Heaven hides nothing
from Thy view,

Nor the deep tract of Hell-say first what


Moved our grand Parents, in that happy

Favored of Heaven so highly, to fall off 30
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For3 one restraint, lords of the world be-

Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
The infernal Serpent; he it was, whose

Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived


35 The mother of mankind, what time his pride

Had cast him out from Heaven, with all
his host

Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equalled the Most


If he opposed; and, with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Raised impious war in Heaven, and battle

With vain attempt. Him the Almighty

Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition; there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day
and night



To mortal men, he with his horrid crew Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf, Before all temples the upright heart and Confounded, though immortal. But his pure, Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first


Reserved him to more wrath; for now the

Both of lost happiness and lasting pain 55
Torments him; round he throws his bale-


Wast present, and, with mighty wings out-
Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast
And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is

ful eyes,

That witnessed huge affliction and dismay, Mixed with obdurate pride, and steadfast hate.

2 vindicate.

3 because of.

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In utter darkness, and their portion set,
As far removed from God and light of

As from the center thrice to the utmost pole.

Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell!


There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelmed

With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,

He soon discerns; and weltering by his side

All is not lost: the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome;
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for


With suppliant knee, and deify his power
Who, from the terror of this arm, so late
Doubted his empire1-that were low in-


That were an ignominy and shame be-
This downfall; since by fate the strength of

And this empyreal substance cannot fail;
Since, through experience of this great

Breaking the horrid silence, thus began:-
"If thou beest he-but oh how fallen! In arms not worse, in foresight much ad-
how changed

From him who, in the happy realms of
Clothed with transcendent brightness,
didst outshine
Myriads, though bright!-if he, whom
mutual league,

One next himself in power, and next in crime,

Long after known in Palestine, and named
Beelzebub. To whom the Arch-Enemy, 81
And thence in Heaven called Satan, with

bold words

The force of those dire arms? Yet not for

Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
Though changed in outward luster, that
fixed mind,

United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Joined with me once, now misery hath


In equal ruin; into what pit thou seest From what highth fallen, so much the stronger proved

He with his thunder: and till then who



And high disdain from sense of injured merit,

That with the Mightiest raised me to

And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of Spirits armed, IOI
That durst dislike his reign, and, me pre-

His utmost power with adverse power op-

In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven, And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?



We may with more successful hope resolve


To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and in the excess of
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of


So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain, Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair; And him thus answered soon his bold compeer:

1 sovereignty.

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Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb His inmost counsels from their destined aim.

But see! the angry Victor hath recalled His ministers of vengeance and pursuit 170 Back to the gates of Heaven; the sulphurous hail,

Shot after us in storm, o'erblown hath laid

The fiery surge that from the precipice Of Heaven received us falling; and the thunder, Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage, Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases



To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.

Let us not slip3 the occasion, whether scorn Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe. Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,


The seat of desolation, void of light, Save what the glimmering of these livid flames

Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend

From off the tossing of these fiery waves;
There rest, if any rest can harbor there; 185
And, reassembling our afflicted powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most of-

Our Enemy, our own loss how repair,
How overcome this dire calamity,
What reinforcement we may gain from


If not what resolution from despair." Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, With head uplift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides,

Prone on the flood, extended long and large,


Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge As whom the fables name of monstrous


Titanian, or Earth-born, that warred on Jove,

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