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BOOK THE FOURTH

THE ARGUMENT.

Satan , now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he

must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook alone against God and man, falls into many doubts with himsell, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair; but at length confirms bimself in evil; journeys on to paradise, whose outward prospect and situation is described; overleaps ibe bounds; sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden described ; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent form and happy stale, bul with resolution to work their fall ; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penally of dealb ; and thereon intends to found bis temptation by seduciog ibem lo transgress : then leaves them awbile 10 know further of their slate by some other means. Meanwhile Uriel descending on a sunbeam warns Gabriel, wbo had in charge the gate of paradise , ibat some evil spirit had escaped the deep, and passed at noon by his spbere in the shape of a good angel down to paradise, discovered afterwards by his furious gestures in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Nigbt coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest : their bower described ; their evening-worsbip. Gabriel, drawing forth his baods of nightwatch 10 walk the round of paradise, appoints two strong angels 10 Adam's bower, lest the evil spirit should be ibere doing some harm 10 Adam or Eve sleeping; there they find him at the ear of Eve, lempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Gabriel : by whom questioned, he scornfully answers; prepares resistance; but, hindered by a sign from heaven, Bies out of paradise.

0, for that warning voice, which he , who saw The Apocalypse, heard cry in heaven aloud,

LIBRO QUARTO

ARGOMENTO.

Satano già in vista di Eden e vicino al luogo dove ogli dove omhai

tentare l' ardito fallo che solo ha intrapreso contro Dio e l'uomo, cade in molti dubbi con se medesimo e in molte passioni, timore, invidia e disperazione ; ma alfine s' indura nel male; inoltra al paradiso di cui descrivesi la veduta esterna e la siluazione; salta sui confini; siede in forma di smergo sull'albero di vita come il più alto nel giardino, per guardarsi intorno. Descrizione del giardino ; Satano vede la prima volta Adamo ed Eva; sua maraviglia alle loro forme illustri e stato felice, ma con fermezza ad operare la loro ruina ; ascolta i loro discorsi donde raccoglie che l' albero di scienza era proibito foro a mangiarne sotto pena di morte; e qui disegna fondare la sua lentazione con sedurli a disobbedire. Quindi li lascia alquanto per conoscere meglio lo stato loro per alcune altre vie. Uriele intanto scendendo su di un raggio solare avvisa Gabriele, il quale avea incarico guardar la porta di paradiso, esser suggilo da inferno qualche reo spirito e passato a mezzodi per la soa, sfera in forma di angelo buono giù verso il paradiso, sė averlo scoperto poi agli atti furiosi di lui nel monte. Gabriello promette di trovarlo pria del mattino. Venendo la notte Adamo ed Eva parlano di andare a riposo : descrizione del loro albergo; loro preghiera di sera. Gabriello educendo le sue schiere di scolta per correre il dintorno di paradiso, invia due strenui angeli all'ostello di Adamo temendo non forse il malo spirito tenti un qual

cbe danno ad Adamo ed Eva che dormono; vel trovano all'o» recchio d' Bvá tentandola in un sogno, e conduconlo beachė

cestio a Gabriello: da cui interrogato risponde con disprezzo; si prepara a combattere; ma impaurito da un segno apparso in cielo fugge di paradiso.

0

voce, o nunzio, cui il rapito spirito Di palmøs alto udi suonar pel cielo,

Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
Woe to the inhabitants on earth! that now,
While time was,

our first parents had been warn'd
The coming of their secret foe, and 'scap'd ,
Haply so 'scap'd bis mortal snare : for now
Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down
The tempter ere the accuser of mankind ,
To wreck on innocent frail man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to hell:
Yet, pot rejoicing in his speed, though bold,
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast ,
Begins his dire attempt ; which nigh the birth ,
Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast,
And like a devilish engine back recoils
Upon himself; horror and doubt distract
His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir
The hell within him; for within him hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from hell
One step, no more than from himself, can fly
By change of place : now conscience wakes despair,
Tbat slumber'd; wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be
Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensuc.
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixes sad;
Sometimes towards heaven, and the full-blazing sun,
Which now sat high in his meridian tower,
Then, much 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

Quando il dragon di nuovo rotto in guerra
Piombo furioso a vendicar sull'uomo,
Guai terrestri abitanti! Ora opportuna
Suonato avesse ai primi padri il cheto
Venir del ler nemico; ah! forse ai lacci
Suoi mortali campato avrian: chè dira
Satano acceso il primo or giù ne venne
Tentator, quindi accusator dell'uomo,
A riversar su lui innocente e frale
Di pugna sua di sua ruina i danni.
Pur non lieto al suo giugner, benchè audace
E intrepido da lunge, nè spavaldo
Comincia sua rea prova, che in sfogando
Gli torce e versa ribellante in petto ,
E qual tormento bellico rincula
Sopra se stessa ; orror e dubbio mesce
Suoi torbati pensieri , e in lui l'inferno
Desta dall' imo; chè entro a se ed intorno
Ei reca inferno, nè da inferno un passo ,
Non più che da sc stesso può ritrarsi
Per cambiar siti; la coscienza or scote
Il disperar sopito e l' aspra imago
Di quel ch' ei su, ch' egli è, e che fia peggiore ;
Chè peggiori •opre peggior duolo incalza.
Or mira all'Eden che a sua fronte s' apre
Lieto, ú dolente gli occhi mesti ei fige,
Or mira al cielo e al folgorante sole
Che culmina sublime in suo meriggio,
Quando tra ambascie e tra sospiri erompe :

« O tu che di superba gloria cinto,
Guardi dal solo regno tuo qual Dio
D' esto novello mondo , al cui cospetto

From me,

Hide their diminish'd heads ; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O sun ! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious onee above thy sphere;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down,
Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless king:
Ah, wherefore ! he deserv'd no such return

whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with bis good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
What could be less, than to afford him praise ,
The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks,
How due ! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
And wrought but malice, lifted up so high
I sdeind subjection, and thought one step higher
Would set me highest, 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
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharg'd; what burden then?
O had his powerful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferior angel , I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd
Ambition. Yet why not? some other power
As great might have aspir’d, and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part ; but other powers as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ?

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