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DESCEND from Heaven, Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art call’d, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the fight of Pegaséan 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 heavenly born,
Before the hills appear’d, or fountain flow’d,
Thou with eternal wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play

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In presence of the Almighty Father, pleas'd
With thy celestial song Up led by thee
Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presum’d,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy tempering ; 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 the 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 ;
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,

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Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revelers, the race

Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodopé, where woods and rocks had ears
To rapture, till the savage clamor drown'd
Both harp and voice ; nor could the Muse defend
Her son.

So fail not thou, who thee implores :
For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream.

Say, Goddess, what ensued when Raphael, The affable Arch-Angel, had forewarn'd Adam by dire example to beware Apostasy, by what befel in Heaven 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 Of all tastes else to please their appetite, Though wandering. He with his consorted Eve The story heard attentive, and was fillid With admiration and deep muse to hear Of things so high and strange, things to their thought So unimaginable as hate in Heaven, And war so near the peace of God in bliss With such confusion : but the evil soon

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Driven back redounded as a flood on those
From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal'd
The doubts that in his heart arose : and now
Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
What nearer might concern him, how this world
Of Heaven and Earth conspicuous first began,
When, and whereof created, for what cause,
What within Eden or without was done
Before his memory, as one whose drouth
Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current stream,
Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
Proceeded thus to ask his heavenly guest.

Great things and full of wonder in our ears,
Far differing from this world, thou hast reveald,
Divine interpreter, by favor sent
Down from the empyréan to forewarn
Us timely of what might else have been our loss,
Unknown, which human knowledge could not reach :
For which to the infinitely Good we owe
Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
Receive with solemn purpose to observe
Immutably his sovran will, the end

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