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That majefty which through thy work doth raign, Draws the devout, deterring the profane: And things Divine thou treat'st of in such state, As them preferves, and thee inviolate. At once delight and horror on us seise, Thou fing'ft with fo much gravity and cafe; And above humane flight doft foar aloft, With plume fo ftrong, fo equal, and fo foft! The bird nam'd from that Paradise you fing So never flags, but always keeps on wing.

Where could't thou words of fuch a compass find! Whence furnifh fuch a vaft expense of mind? Juft Heav'n thee, like TIRESIAS, to requite, Rewards with prophefy thy lofs of fight.

Well might'st thou fcorn thy readers to allure
With tinkling rhyme, of thy own fense secure;
While the TOWN-BAYS writes all the while and

And, like a pack-horfe, tires without his bells.
Their fancies like our bufhy-points appear,
The poets tag them, we for fashion wear.
I too tranfported by the mode commend;
And while I mean to praife thee, muft offend.
Thy verfe created like thy Theme fublime,

In number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.



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HE measure is ENGLISH Heroic Verfe without Rhyme, as that of HOMER in Greek, and of VIRGIL in Latin; Rhyme being no neceffary adjunct, or true ornament of Poem or good verfe; in longer works efpecially but the invention of a barbarous age, to fet off wretched matter and lame metre: grac'd indeed fince by the use of fome famous modern Poets, carried away by cuftom; but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to express many things otherwife, (and for the most part worse) than elfe they would have expreft them. Not without cause therefore fome (both ITALIAN and SPANISH) Poets of prime note have rejected Rhyme, both in longer and fhorter works; as have alfo long fince our beft ENGLISH Tragedies; as a thing of itself, to all judicious ears, trivial, and of no true mufical delight: which confifts only in apt numbers, fit quantity of fyllables, & the fenfe variously drawn out from one verfe into another: not in the jingling found of like endings; a fault avoided by the learned antients both in Poetry, & all good Oratory. This neglect then of rhyme fo little is to be taken for a defect (though it may feem fo perhaps to vulgar readers) that it rather is to be efteem'd an example` set, the first in ENGLISH, of antient liberty recover'd to Heroic Poem, from the troublesome and modern bondage of rhyming.





This first book propofes, firft in brief, the whole fubject, man's difobedience, and the lofs thereupon of Paradife wherein he was plac'd. Then touches the prime caufe of his fall, the ferpent, or rather Satan in the ferpent; who revolting from GOD, and drawing to his fide many legions of Angels, was by the command of GOD driven out of heaven with all his crew into the great deep. Which action pass'd over, the Poem haftes into the midst of things, prefenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into hell, defcrib'd here, not in the centre (for heaven and earth may be fuppos'd as yet not made, certainly not yet accurs'd) but in a place of utter darkness, fitlieft call'd Chaos: Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning lake, thunderstruck and aftonifh'd, after a certain space recovers, as from confufion, calls up him who next in order and dignity lay by him: they confer of their miferable fall. Satan awakens all his legions, who lay 'till then in the fame manner confounded: they rife; their numbers, array of barrel, their chief leaders nam'd, according to the Idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To thefe Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope of yet regaining heaven, but tells them lafily of a new world and a new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy or report


in heaven: for that 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 affociates thence attempt. Pandemonium, the palaceof Satan, rifes, fuddenly built out of the deep: the infernal Peers there fit in council.

F Man's first difobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whofe mortal tafte
Brought death into the world & all our woe
With lofs of EDEN, till one greater Man
Reftore us, and regain the blissful feat 5

Sing heav'nly Mufe, that on the fecret top
Of OREB, or of SINAI, didft infpire

That thepherd, who first taught the chofen feed,
In the beginning how the heav'ns and earth
Rofe out of CHAOS: Or if SION hill


Delight thee more, and SILO A's brook that flow'd
Fat by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous fong,
That with no middle flight intends to foar
Above th' A o NIAN mount, while it perfues
Things unattempted yet in profe or rhyme.


And chiefly thou O SPIRIT, that doft prefer Before all temples th' upright heart and pure, Inftruct me, for thou know'ft: thou from the first Waft prefent, and with mighty wings out-fpread, 20 Dove-like fat' brooding on the vaft Abyss, And mad'ft it pregnant: what in me is dark Illumine, what is low raise and support; That to the height of this great argument I may affert eternal Providence, And juftifie the ways of God to men.


Say firft,[for heav'n hides nothing from thy view, Nor the deep tract of hell fay firit what cause


Liure premier.


qui habite les Coteause Solitaires d'oreb ou de sina, toy qui inspira le berger qui le premie aprit a la race choisie, Comment au commencement Le Ciel et la terre Sortirent du Cahos muse Celeste chante la premiere desobeisance de lhomme et'! Fruit de Cet arbre deffendu, dont lessai funeste amena la mort et toute nos maux dans cet univers et nous prina d'eden, jusquale quin 'homme plus puissant now retablisse en le séjour de deliler, ou Sith plais davantage Sur les Collines de Sion au bord du Siloe is in des oracles de leternel, Cest dela que jimplore ton aide pour les chant's hardis qui dun vol elleué, prennent leur essort au dessus de la montag : daonie et entreprennent des choses qui nont point encore ele tentées en vers niyen prose. Et toy Surtout exprit Saint, qui prefere et droit, a touts les temples instruis moy, tout, tu fus present de toute eternité, et semblable a la Colombe, deployant des ailes puissantes, tu Comois labiine et le rendois fecond, eclaire me tenebres, Soutiens ma foiblesse et haut de la grandeur de mon sujet, je puisse disculper la providence et justifier



de dien aux hommes

Dis moy, dabord, Câr


les lieux

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premiers peres

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