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As might affect the earth with cold and heat
Scarce tolerable ; and from the north to call
Decrepit winter; from the south to bring 655
Solstitial summer's heat. To the blank moon
Her office they prescrib’d; to th' other five
Their planetary motions and aspects
In sextile, square, and trine, and opposite
Of noxious efficacy, and when to join 660
In synod unbenign; and taught the fix’d
Their influence malignant when to show'r,
Which of them rising with the sun, or falling,
Should prove tempestuous : to the winds they set
Their corners, when with bluster to confound
Sea, air, and shore, the thunder when to roll
With terror through the dark aereal hall.
Some say, he bid his Angels turn askance
The poles of earth twice ten degrees and more
From the sun's axle; they with labour push'd
Oblique the centric globe. Some say, the sun
Was bid turn reins from th' equinoctial road
Like distant breadth to Taurus with the sev'n
Atlantic Sisters, and the Spartan Twins
Up to the Tropic Crab; thence down amain
By Leo, and the Virgin, and the Scales, 676
As deep as Capricorn, to bring in change
Of seasons to each clime; else had the spring
Perpetual smil'd on earth with vernant flow’rs,
Equal in days and nights, except to those 680
Beyond the polar circles. To them day
Had unbenighted shone, while the low sun,

To recompense his distance, in their sight
Had rounded still th’horizon, and not known
Or east or west, which had forbid the snow 685
From cold Estotiland, and south as far
Beneath Magellan. At that tasted fruit
The sun, as from Thyestean banquet, turn'd
His course intended; else how had the world
Inhabited, though sinless, more than now, 690
Avoided pinching cold and scorching heat ?
These changes in the Heav'ns, tho’slow, produc'd
Like change on sea and land; sideral blast,
Vapour, and mist, and exhalation hot,
Corrupt and pestilent: now from the north 695
Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shore,
Bursting their brazen dungeon, arm’d with ice,
And snow, and hail, and stormy gust, and flaw'
Boreas, and Cæcias, and Argestes loud, 699
And Trascias, rend the woods, and seas upturn.
With adverse blast upturns them from the south
Notus and Afer black, with thund'rous clouds
From Sierra Leona. Thwart of these as fierce
Forth rush the Levant and the Ponent winds,
Eurus and Zephyr, with their lat’ral noise, 705
Sirocco and Libecchio. Thus began
Outrage from lifeless things; but Discord, first
Daughter of Sin, among th' irrational,
Death introduc'd, through fierce antipathy.
Beast now with beast 'gan war, and fowl with
fowl,

710 And fish with fish; to graze the herb all leaving,

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Devour'd each other; nor stood much in awe
Of Man, but fled him, or with count'nance grim
Glar'd on him passing. These were from without
The growing miseries, which Adam saw 715
Already’in part, tho'hid in gloomiest shade,
To sorrow'abandon'd, but worse felt within ;
And in a troubl’d sea of passion tost,
Thus to disburden, sought with sad complaint :

O mis'rable of happy'! Is this the end 720
Of this new glorious world, and me so late
The glory of that glory, who now, become
Accurs'd of blessed, hide me from the face
Of God, whom to behold was then my height
Of happiness! Yet well, if here would end
The mis’ry. I deserv'd it, and would bear
My own deservings; but this will not serve!
All that I eat or drink, or shall beget,
Is propagated curse! O voice once heard
Delightfully, “Increase and multiply," 730
Now death to hear! For what can I encrease
Or multiply, but curses on my head !
Who, of all ages to succeed, but feeling
The evil on him brought by me, will curse
My head! Ill fare our ancestor impure ! 735
For this we may thank Adam ! but his thanks
Shall be the execration! So besides
Mine own that bide upon me, all from me
Shall with a fierce reflux on me redound;
On me, as on their nat'ral centre, light 740
Heavy, though in their place. O fleeting joys

746

Of Paradise, dear bought with lasting woes !
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man ? Did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me, or here place
In this delicious garden? As my will
Concurr'd not to my being, it were but right
And equal to reduce me to my dust;
Desirous to resign and render back
All I receiv'd, unable to perform

750
Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold
The good I sought not. To the loss of that,
Sufficient penalty, why hast thou added
The sense of endless woes! Inexplicable
Thy justice seems; yet, to say truth, too late
I thus contest: then should have been refus'd
Those terms whatever, when they were propos’d.
Thou didst acceptthem. Wilt thou’enjoy the good,
Then cavil the conditions? And though God
Made thee without thy leave, what if thy son
Prove disobedient, and reprov’d, retort,
Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not.
Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee
That proud excuse ? yet him not thy election,
But natural necessity begot.

765 God made thee of choice his own, and of his own, To serve him : thy reward was of his grace; Thy punishment then, justly', is at his will. Be' it so, for I submit: his doom is fair, That dust I am, and shall to dust return.

770 O welcome hour whenever! Why delays

761

776

His hand to execute what his decree
Fix'd on this day? Why do I overlive,
Why am I mock'd with death, and lengthen'd out
To deathless pain? How gladly would I meet
Mortality, my sentence, and be earth
Insensible! How glad would lay me down,
As in my mother's lap! There I should rest,
And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more
Would thunder in my ears! No fear of worse
To me and to my offspring would torment me
With cruel expectation! Yet one doubt
Pursues me still, lest all I cannot die;
Lest that pure breath of life, the sp’rit of Man
Which God inspir'd, cannot together perish 785
With this corporeal clod! then in the grave,
Or in some other dismal place, who knows
But I shall die a living death! O thought
Horrid, if true! Yet why? It was but breath
Of life that sinn'd. What dies but what had life
And sin ? the body, properly, hath neither. 791
All of me then shall die. Let this
The doubt, since human reach no further knows;
For though the Lord of all be infinite,
Is his wrath also ? Be it, Man is not so, 795
But mortal doom'd. How can he exercise
Wrath without end on Man whom death must

end ?
Can he make deathless death? That were to make
Strange contradiction, which to God himself
Impossible is held ; as argument

800

Let this appease

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