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Of Lucifer, so by allusion callid,

425 Of that bright star to Satan paragon'd. There kept their watch the legions, while the

Grand In council sat, solicitous what chance Might intercept their emp’ror sent; so he Departing, gave command; and they observ’d. As when the Tartar from his Russian foe, 431 By Astracan over the snowy plains, Retires, or Bactrian Sophi from the horns Of Turkish crescent, leaves all waste beyond The realm of Aladule, in his retreat

435 To Tauris or Casbeen, so these the late Heav'n-banish'd host, left desert utmost Hell Many a dark league, reduc'd in careful watch Round their metropolis, and now expecting 439 Each hour their great advent'rer from the search Of foreign worlds: he thro' the midst, unmark’d, In show plebeian Angel militant Of lowest order, pass'd; and from the door Of that Plutonian hall, invisible, Ascended his high throne, which under state Of richest texture spread, at th' upper end Was plac'd in regal lustre. Down a while He sat, and round about him saw, unseen. At last, as from a cloud, his fulgent head And shape star-bright appear'd, or brighter, clad With what permissive glory since his fall 451 Was left him, or false glitter. All amaz’d At that so sudden blaze, the Stygian throng

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Book XL 449

Bunind for J. Parsons, u, Batanoster Row. Jere U1295.

THE TEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASICR, LENOX AND 'IILDEN FOUNDATIONS R

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1

Bent their aspect, and whom they wish'd beheld,
Their mighty chief return’d. Loud was th’acclaim:
Forth rush'd in haste the great consulting peers,
Rais’d from their dark Divan, and with like joy
Congratulant approach'd him, who with hand
Silence, and with these words attention won:

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues,

Pow'rs,

460

For in possession such, not only' of right,
I call

ye, and declare ye now, return'd
Successful beyond hope, to lead ye

forth
Triumphant out of this infernal pit
Abominable, accurs'd, the house of woe, 465
And dungeon of our tyrant. Now possess,
As Lords, a spacious world, to'our native Heav'n
Little inferior, by my adventure hard
With peril great atchiev'd. Long were to tell
What I have done, what suffer'd, with what pain
Voyag'd th' unreal, vast, unbounded deep

471
Of horrible confusion, over which
By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav'd
To expedite your glorious march; but I

uncouth
passage,

forc'd to ride
Th’untractable abyss, plung'd in the womb 476
Of unoriginal Night and Chaos wild,
That jealous of their secrets fiercely' oppos'd
My journey strange, with clamorous uproar
Protesting Fate supreme; thence how I found
The new-created world, which fame in Heav'n
Long had foretold, a fabric wonderful,

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Of absolute perfection, therein Man
Plac'd in a Paradise, by our exile
Made happy. Him by fraud I have seduc'd 485
From his Creator, and the more to'encrease
Your wonder, with an apple! He thereat
Offended (worth your laughter) hath giv’n up
Both his beloved Man and all his world,
To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us,

490
Without our hazard, labour, or alarm,
To range in, and to dwell, and over Man
To rule, as over all he should have rul’d.
True is, me also he hath judg’d, or rather
Me not, but the brute Serpent, in whose shape
Man I deceiv’d. That which to me belongs
Is enmity, which he will put between
Me and mankind: I am to bruise his heel ;
His seed (when is not set) shall bruise my head.
A world who would not purchase with a bruise,
Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th'account
Of my performance: What remains, ye Gods,
But up and enter now into full bliss !

So having said, a while he stood, expecting
Their universal shout and high applause 505
To fill his ear; when, contrary, he hears
On all sides, from innumerable tongues
A dismal universal hiss, the sound
Of public scorn.

He wonder'd, but not long
Had leisure, wond'ring at himself now more :
His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,
His arms clung to his ribs, his legs intwining

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