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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'st, 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 10
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,
An earthly 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; 26
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, 30
Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
But drive far off the barb'rous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race

Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears 35
To rapture, till the savage clamour 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 ensu'd when Raphael, 40
The affable Arch-Angel, had forewarn'd

Adam, by dire example, to beware

Apostasy, by what befel in Heav'n

To those apostates, lest the like befal
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

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