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What seem'd in thee so perfect, that I thought No evil durst attempt thee; but I rue
That error now, which is become my crime,
MAN's transgression known, the guardian angels forsake Paradise, and return up to heaven to approve their vigilance, and are approved, GOD declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors; who descends, and gives sentence accordingly; then in pity clothes them both, and reascends. Sin and Death, sitting till then at the gates of hell, by wondrous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the place of man: to make the way easier from hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad highway, or bridge, over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made; then, preparing for earth, they meet him, proud of his success, returning to hell: their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium, in full assembly relates with boasting his success against man: instead of applause, is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed, with himself also, suddenly into serpents, according to his doom given in Paradise; then, deluded with a show of the forbidden tree springing up before them, they greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death; GOD foretells the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but for the present commands his angels to make several alterations in the heavens and elements. Adam, more and more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily bewails; rejects the condolement of Eve; VOL. II.
she persists, and at length appeases him: then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not; but conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, that her seed should be revenged on the serpent, and exhorts her with him to seek peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication.
MEANWHILE the heinous and despightful act
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in heaven; for what can scape the eye
For still they knew, and ought to have still remember'd
The high injunction not to taste that fruit,
Up into heaven from Paradise in haste Th' angelic guards ascended, mute and sad For man; for of his state by this they knew, Much wondering how the subtle fiend had stol'n 20 Entrance unseen. Soon as th' unwelcome news From earth arrived at heaven-gate, displeas'd All were who heard; dim sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet mix'd
Th' ethereal people ran, to hear and know
Assembled angels, and ye powers return'd
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find
Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd.
All judgment, whether in heaven, or earth, or hell.
Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee
Them fully satisfy'd, and thee
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none Are to behold the judgment, but the judg'd,
58 may] 'The second edition, and others, give 'Easy it might be seen.'