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Of those too high aspiring, who rebell'd
With Satan; he who envies now thy state,
Who now is plotting how he may seduce
Thee also from obedience, that with him
Bereav'd of happiness thou may'st partake
His punishment, eternal misery;
Which would be all his solace and revenge,
As a despite done against the Most High,
Thee once to gain companion of his woe..
But listen not to his temptations, warn



Thy weaker; let it profit thee to' have heard
By terrible example the reward

Of disobedience; firm they might have stood,
Yet fell: Remember, and fear to transgress.






Raphael at the request of Adam relates how and wherefore this world was first created; that God, after the expelling of Satan and his Angels out of Heaven, declared his pleasure to create another world and other creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with glory and attendance of Angels to perform the work of creation in six days: The Angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and his reascension into Heaven.

ESCEND from Heav'n Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art call'd, whose voice divine
Following, above th' Olympian hill I soar
Above the flight of Pegasean wing.

The meaning, not the name I call: For thou
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top

Of old Olympus dwell's, but heav'nly born,
Before the hills appear'd, or fountain flow'd,
Thou with eternal wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play
In presence of th' almighty Father, pleas'd
With thy celestial song. Up led by thee
Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns I have presum'd,
Anearthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy temp'ring; with like safety guided down
Return me to my native element:
Lest from this flying steed unrein'd, (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime)
Dismounted, on th' Aleian field I fall
Erroneous there to wander and forlorn,
Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound
Within the visible diurnal sphere ;
Standing on earth, not rapt above the pole,
More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchang'd





To hoarse or mute, though fall'n on evil days,
On evil days though fall'n, and evil tongues;
In darkness, and with dangers compass'd round,
And solitude; yet not alone, while thou
Visit'st my slumbers nightly, or when morn
Purples the east : Still govern thou my song,
Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revelers, the race
Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears
To rapture, till the savage clamor drown'd
Both harp and voice ; nor could the Muse defend
Her son. So fail not thou, who thee implores ;
For thou art heav'nly, she an empty dream..

Say, Goddess, what ensued when Raphael,
The affable Arch Angel, had forewarn'd
Adam by dire example to beware
Apostasy, by what befel in Heaven
To those apostates, lest the like befall
In Paradise to Adam or his race,

Charg'd not to touch the interdicted tree,






If they transgress, and slight that sole command,
So easily obey'd amid the choice

Of all tastes else to please their appetite,

Though wand'ring. He with his comsorted Eve


The story heard attentive, and was fill'd

With admiration and deep muse, to hear

Of things so high and strange, things to their thought
So unimaginable as hate in Heaven,

And war so near the peace of God in bliss


With such confusion: But the evil soon

Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those.

From whom it sprung, impossible to mix

With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal'd
The doubts that in his heart arose: And now


Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know

What nearer might concern him how this world,

Of Heav'n and Earth conspicuous first began,

When, and whereof created, for what cause,
What within Eden or without was done
Before his memory, as one whose drought


Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current stream,
Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
Procceded thus to ask his heav'nly guest.

Great things, and full of wonder in our ears,
Far differing from this world, thou hast reveal'd,
Divine interpreter, by favor sent

Down from the empyrean to forewarn


Us timely' of what might else have been our loss,
Unknown, which human knowledge could not reach: 75
For which to th' infinitely Good we owe
Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
Receive with solemn purpose to observe
Immutably his sov'reign will, the end
Of what we are.
Gently for our instruction to impart

But since thou hast vouchsaf'd

Things above earthly thought, which yet concern'd
Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seem'd


Deign to descend now lower, and relate

What may no less perhaps avail us known,

How first began this Heav'n which we behold
Distant so high, with moving fires adorn'd
Innumerable, and this which yields or fills
All space, the ambient air wide interfus'd
Embracing round this florid earth, what cause
Mov'd the Creator his holy rest
Through all eternity so late to build

In Chaos, and the work begun, how soon
Absolv❜d, if unforbid thou may'st unfold
What we not to explore the secrets ask
Of his eternal empire, but the more




To magnify his works, the more we know.

And the great light of day yet wants to run

Much of his race though steep; suspence in Heaven,

Held by thy voice, thy potent voice, he hears,


And longer will delay to hear thee tell

His generation, and the rising birth
Of nature from the unapparent deep :
Or if the star of evening and the moon

Haste to thy audience, night with her will bring
Silence, and sleep list'ning to thee will watch,
Or we can bid his absence, till thy song
End, and dismiss thee ere the morning shine,



Thus Adam his illustrious guest besought: And thus the Godlike Angel answer'd mild. This also thy request with caution ask'd Obtain Though to recount almighty works What words or tongue of Seraph can suffice, Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?

Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve
To glorify the Maker, and infer


Thee also happier, shall not be withheld

Thy hearing, such commission from above
I have receiv'd, to answer thy desire

Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain
To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope
Things not reveal'd, which th' invisible King,
Only omniscient, hath suppress'd in night,

To none communicable in Earth or Heaven:
Enough is left besides to search and know.
But knowledge is as food, and needs no less
Her temp'rance over appetite, to know
In measure what the mind may well contain
Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns
Wisdom to folly', as nourishment to wind.

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Know then, that after Lucifer from Heaven
(So call him, brighter once amidst the host
Of Angels, than that star the stars among)
Fell with his flaming legions through the deep
Into his place, and the great Son return'd
Victorious with his Saints, th' omnipotent
Eternal Father from his throne beheld

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Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake.

At least our envious foe hath fail'd, who thought

All like himself rebellious, by whose aid


This inaccessible high strength, the seat

Of Deity supreme, us dispossess'd

He trusted to have seiz'd, and into fraud

Drew many, whom their place knows here no more;
Yet far the greater part have kept, I see,


Their station, Heaven yet populous retains
Number sufficient to possess her realms
Though wide, and this high temple to frequent
With ministeries due and solemn rites:
But lest his heart exalt him in the harm


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