UnPoetia:Paradise Abridged/Book IV

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The Argument


Satan, now in prospect of Eden after having easily fooled the daft Archangel Uriel, lands upon the Earth on Mount Niphates. He comes into many doubts with himself, and many passions—fear, envy, and despair—but at last confirms himself in evil. He begins an epic speech to the sun upon the Assyrian Mount Niphates when he is interrupted mid-speech by the Archangel Gabriel and forced to flee like a bitch.

The Verse

Satan, now first inflam’d with rage, came down, [1]
The Tempter ere th’ Accuser of mankind,
To ’venge on innocent frail Man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell.
Landed he upon fair Mount Niphates, [5]
Th’ Assyrian Mount, the Garden’s highest
Point, in Eden’s prospect overlooking,
To begin his dire attempt. Thoughts of such
Now rolling, boiling, within himself,
The Hell within him, for within him Hell, [10]
Upwelling, confounding, contradicting,
Now brings upon the Arch-Fiend, Satan, doubt;
Now conscience wakes despair that slumber’d, wakes
The bitter memory of what he was,
By th’ orb of the Sun again reminded. [15]
Thus Satan, to that fiery orb, begun: [1]
“O thou that with surpassing glory crown’d,
Lookst from thy sole dominion like the God
Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminish’d heads; to thee I call, [20]
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name
O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;
Till pride, and worse, ambition, threw me down [25]
Warring in Heav’n against Heav’n’s matchless King:
Ah wherefore! He deserv’d no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard. [30]
What could be less then to afford him praise,
The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks,
How due! Yet all his good prov’d ill in me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
I ’sdain’d subjection, and thought one step higher [35]
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome, still paying, still to owe;
Forgetful what from him I still receiv’d,
And understood not that a grateful mind [40]
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharg’d; what burden then?
O had his pow’rful destiny ordain’d
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais’d [45]
Ambition. Yet why not? Some other Pow’r
As great might have aspir’d, and me though mean
Drawn to his part; but other Pow’rs as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm’d. [50]
Hadst thou the same free will and pow’r to stand?
Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,
But Heav’n’s free love dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accurs’d, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe. [55]
Nay curs’d be thou; since against his thy will—”
“Hey, there he is!” spake th’ angel Gabirel,
Interrupting short the fall’n Satan’s speech
Which he’d ineptly stumbled into midst.
Retorted thus the Arch-Fiend: “Fuck!” and flew.

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The Annotations

  1. Here begins the first several dozen lines of Satan’s speech on Mount Niphates, here included, it is suspected, because the author is both lazy and very much a fan of Satan’s speech on Mount Niphates.