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Ah! who hath reft,' quoth he, my dearest pledge?'

Last came, and last did go,
The pilot of the Galilean lake.

III

wo massy keys he bore, of metals twain, The golden opes, the iron shuts amain, de shook his mitered locks, and stern bespake:

How well could I have spared for thee, young swain,

Enow of such as, for their bellies' sake Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold!

Of other care they little reckoning make 116 Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast And shove away the worthy bidden guest; Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold

sheep-hook, or have learned ought else the least

120

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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 action great deep. Which 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 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 the 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.

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ΙΟ

In the beginning how the heavens and earth
Rose out of chaos: or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that
flowed

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 rime.
And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples the upright heart and
pure,

Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the first

Wast present, and, with mighty wings out

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