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"Stand still in bright array, ye saints! here Ye angels arm'd, this day from battle rest; [stand, Faithful hath been your warfare, and of God Accepted, fearless in his righteous cause; And as ye have receiv'd, so have ye done Invincibly; but of this cursed crew The punishment to other hand belongs; Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints: Number to this day's work is not ordain'd, Nor multitude; stand only and behold God's indignation on these godless pour'd By me; not you, but me, they have despis'd, Yet envied; against me is all their rage, Because the Father, to' whom in heaven supreme Kingdom, and power, and glory appertains, Hath honour'd me according to his will. Therefore to me their doom he hath assign'd; That they may have their wish, to try with me In battle which the stronger proves; they all, Or I alone against them, since by strength They measure all, of other excellence Not emulous, nor care who them excels; Nor other strife with them do I vouchsafe."






"So spake the Son, and into terror chang'd His count nance, too severe to be beheld, And full of wrath bent on his enemies. At once the Four spread out their starry wings, With dreadful shade contiguous, and the orbs Of his fierce chariot roll'd, as with the sound Of torrent floods, or of a numerous host. He on his impious foes right onward drove, Gloomy as night; under his burning wheels The steadfast empyrean shook throughout, All but the throne itself of God. Full soon Among them he arriv'd, in his right hand Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent Before him, such as in their souls infix'd Plagues; they, astonish'd, all resistance lost, All courage; down their idle weapons dropp'd; O'er shields, and helms, and helmed heads he rode Of thrones, and mighty seraphim prostrate, That wish'd the mountains now might be again Thrown on them as a shelter from his ire. Nor less on either side tempestuous fell His arrows, from the fourfold- visag'd Four Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels Distinct alike with multitude of eyes; One spirit in them rul'd, and every eye Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire Among th' accurs'd, that wither'd all their strength, And of their wonted vigour left them drain'd, 351 Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall'n.



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"Thus, measuring things in heaven by things on earth,

At thy request, and that thou may'st beware
By what is past, to thee I have reveal'd
What might have else to human race been hid;
The discord which befel, and war in heaven
Among th' angelic powers, and the deep fall
Of those too high aspiring, who rebell'd
With Satan; he who envies now thy state,
Who now is plotting how he may seduce
Thee also from obedience, that with him,
Bereav'd of happiness, thou may'st partake
His punishment, eternal misery;
Which would be all his solace and revenge,
As a despite done against the Most High,
Thee once to gain companion of his wo.
But listen not to his temptations: warn
Thy weaker; let it profit thee to' have heard,
By terrible example, the reward




Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd
His thunder in mid volley: for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of heaven:



Of disobedience; firm they might have stood, Yet fell. Remember, and fear to transgress."





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.

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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
In presence of th' 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 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 narrow bound
Within the visible diurnal sphere;
Standing on earth, not wrapp'd above the pole,
More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchang'd
To hoarse or mute, though fallen on evil days,
On evil days though fallen, 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,
Urania! and fit audience find though few.
But drive far off the barbarous 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
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 heavenly, she an empty dream.




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Of what we are. But since thou hast vouchsaf'd
Gently for our instruction to impart
Things above earthly thought, which yet concern'd
Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seem'd,
Deign to descend now lower, and relate
What may no less perhaps avail us known;
How first began this heaven, which we behold



Distant so high, with moving fires adorn'd
Innumerable, and this which yields or fills
All space, the ambient air wide interfus'd
Embracing round this florid earth; what cause 90
Mov'd the Creator, in his holy rest
Through all eternity, so late to build
In Chaos, and, the work begun, how soon
Absolv'd, if unforbid thou may'st unfold
What we, not to explore the secrets, ask
Of his eternal empire, but the more
To magnify his works, the more we know.
And the great light of day yet wants to run
Much of his race tho' steep; suspense in heaven,
Heid by thy voice, thy potent voice, he hears, 100
And longer will delay to hear thee tell
His generation, and the rising birth
Of Nature from the unapparent deep:
Or if the star of evening and the moon
Haste to thy audience, night with her will bring
Silence, and sleep, list'ning to thee, will watch;
Or we can bid his absence, till thy song

Though wand'ring. He with his consorted Eve 50 End, and dismiss thee ere the morning shine."

Say, goddess, what ensued when Raphael, The affable archangel, had forewarn'd


Adam by dire example to beware

Apostasy, by what befell in heaven

To those apostates, lest the like befall

In Paradise to Adam or his race,


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To glorify the Maker, and infer
Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
Thy hearing; such commission from above
I have receiv'd, to answer thy desire
Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain
To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope
Things not reveal'd, which th' invisible King,
Only omniscient, hath suppress'd in night,
To none communicable in earth or heaven:
Enough is left besides to search and know.
But knowledge is as food, and needs no less
Her temp'rance over appetite, to know
In measure what the mind may well contain;
Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns
Wisdom to folly', as nourishment to wind.

"Know then, that after Lucifer from heaven
(So call him, brighter once amidst the host
Of angels than that star the stars among)
Fell with his flaming legions through the deep
Into his place, and the great Son return'd
Victorious with his saints, th' omnipotent
Eternal Father from his throne beheld
Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake:

116 Celestial equipage! and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv'd,
Attendant on their Lord: heaven open'd wide 205
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound!
On golden hinges moving, to let forth
The King of glory, in his powerful Word
And Spirit coming to create new worlds.





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Yet far the greater part have kept, I see,




Their station; heaven yet populous retains
Number sufficient to possess her realms
Though wide, and this high temple to frequent
With ministeries due and solemn rites:
But lest h's heart exalt him in the harm
Already done, to have dispeopled heaven,
My damage fondly deem'd, I can repair
That detriment, if such it be to lose
Self-lost, and in a moment will create
Another world, out of one man a race
Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
Not here, till by degrees of merit rais'd
They open to themselves at length the way
Up hither, under long obedience tried,
And earth be chang'd to heaven,and heaven to earth,
One kingdom, joy and union without end.
Meanwhile inhabit lax, ye powers of heaven,
And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee
This I perform; speak thou, and be it done :
My overshadowing Spirit and might with thee 165
I send along; ride forth, and bid the deep
Within appointed bounds be heaven and earth,
Boundless the deep, because I am who fill
Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.



On heavenly ground they stood, and from the shore
They view'd the vast immeasurable abyss
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turn'd by furious winds.
And surging waves, as mountains, to assault
Heaven's height, and with the centre mix the pole.


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Said then th' omnific Word, 'your discord end :' Nor staid, but, on the wings of cherubim Uplifted, in paternal glory rode



Far into Chaos, and the world unborn;
For Chaos heard his voice. Him all his train
Follow'd in bright procession to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then staid the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, prepar'd
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things:
One foot he centred, and the other turn'd,
Round through the vast profundity obscure,
And said,Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds,
This be thy just circumference, O world!



Thus God the heaven created, thus the earth, Matter unform'd and void: darkness profound Cover'd th' abyss; but on the wat'ry calm His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread, And vital virtue' infus'd, and vital warmth Throughout the fluid mass; but downward purg'd The black, tartareous, cold, infernal dregs, Adverse to life; then founded, then conglob'd Like things to like, the rest to several place Disparted, and between spun out the air: And earth self-balanc'd on her centre hung.


"Let there be light! said God, and forthwith light



Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure,
Sprung from the deep, and from her native east
To journey through the airy gloom began,
Spher'd in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun
Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle
Sojourn'd the while. God saw the light was good;
And light from darkness by the hemisphere
Divided: light the day, and darkness night
He nam'd. Thus was the first day even and morn:
Nor pass'd uncelebrated, nor unsung
By the celestial choirs, when orient light
Exhaling first from darkness they beheld;
Birth-day of heaven and earth! with joy and shout
The hollow universal orb they fill'd,


Though I uncircumscrib'd myself retire,


And put not forth my goodness, which is free To act or not, necessity and chance

Approach not me, and what I will is fate.'

"So spake th' Almighty, and to what he spake His Word, the filial Godhead, gave effect. Immediate are the acts of God, more swift Than time or motion; but to human ears Cannot without process of speech be told, So told as earthly notion can receive. Great triumph and rejoicing was in heaven, When such was heard declar'd th' Almighty's will; Glory they sung to the Most High, good-will To future men, and in their dwellings peace: Glory to him, whose just avenging ire

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Of this great round; partition firm and sure,
The waters underneath from those above
Dividing; for as earth, so he the world
Built on circumfluous waters calm, in wide
Crystalline ocean, and the loud misrule
Of Chaos far remov'd, lest fierce extremes
Contiguous might distemper the whole frame.
And heaven he nam'd the firmament: so even
And morning chorus sung the second day.



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"The earth was form'd; but in the womb as yet Of waters, embryon immature, involv'd, Appear'd not: over all the face of earth Main ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warm Prolific humour soft'ning all her globe, Fermented the great mother to conceive, Satiate with genial moisture: when God said, 'Be gather'd now ye waters under heaven Into one place, and let dry land appear!' Immediately the mountains huge appear Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave Into the clouds, their tops ascend the sky





So high as heav'd the tumid hills, so low
Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,
Capacious bed of waters: thither they
Hasted with glad precipitance, uproll'd
As drops on dust conglobing from the dry;
Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,
For haste; such flight the great command.impress'd
On the swift floods. As armies at the call
Or trumpet (for of armies thou hast heard)
Troop to their standard, so the wat'ry throng,
Wave rolling after wave, where way they found;
If steep, with torrent rapture; if through plain,
Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them rock or hill; 300
But they, or under ground, or circuit wide
With serpent-error wand'ring, found their way,
And on the washy ooze deep channels wore ;
Easy, ere God had bid the ground be dry,
All but within those banks, where rivers now
Stream, and perpetual draw their humid train.
The dry land, earth, and the great receptacle
Of congregated waters, he call'd seas:
And saw that it was good, and said, 'Let the earth
Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed, 310
And fruit-tree yielding fruit after her kind,
Whose seed is in herself upon the earth!



He scarce had said, when the bare earth, till then
Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd,
Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad
Her universal face with pleasant green;
Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flower'd
Opening their various colours, and made gay
Her bosom smelling sweet; and these scarce blown,
Forth flourish'd thick the clust'ring vine, forth


The smelling gourd, up stood the corny reed
Embattled in her field, and th' humble shrub,
And bush with frizzled hair implicit : last
Rose as in dance the stately trees, and spread 324
Their branches hung with copious fruit, or gemm'd
Their blossoms; with high woods the hills were



With tufts the valleys, and each fountain side,
With borders long the rivers; that earth now [dwell,
Seem'd like to heaven, a seat where gods might
Or wander with delight, and love to haunt
Her sacred shades: though God had yet not rain'd
Upon the earth, and man to till the ground
None was; but from the earth a dewy mist
Went up, and water'd all the ground, and each
Plant of the field, which ere it was in th' earth 335
God made, and every herb, before it grew
On the green stem. God saw that it was good:
So even and morn recorded the third day."




66 Again the Almighty spake: 'Let there be lights High in th' expanse of heaven, to divide The day from night; and let them be for signs, For seasons, and for days, and circling years; And let them be for lights, as I ordain Their office in the firmament of heaven, To give light on the earth!" and it was so. And God made two great lights, great for their use To man, the greater to have rule by day, The less by night altern; and made the stars, And set them in the firmament of heaven T'illuminate the earth, and rule the day In their vicissitude, and rule the night, And light from darkness to divide. God saw, Surveying his great work, that it was good: For of celestial bodies first the sun, A mighty sphere! he fram'd; unlightsome first, 355 Though of ethereal mould; then form'd the moon Globose, and every magnitude of stars, And sow'd with stars the heaven thick as a field. Of light by far the greater part he took, Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and plac'd In the sun's orb, made porous to receive And drink the liquid light, firm to retain Her gather'd beams, great palace now of light. Hither, as to their fountain, other stars Repairing, in their golden urns draw light, And hence the morning planet gilds her horns; By tincture or reflection they augment Their small peculiar, though, from human sight So far remote, with diminution seen.



First in his east the glorious lamp was seen, 370
Regent of day, and all the' horizon round
Invested with bright rays, jocund to run

His longitude through heaven's high road; the grey
Dawn and the Pleiades before him danc'd
Shedding sweet influence. Less bright the moon,
But opposite in levell'd west was set

His mirror, with full face borrowing her light
From him, for other light she needed none
In that aspect, and still that distance keeps
Till night, then in the east her turn she shines, 380
Revolv'd on heaven's great axle, and her reign
With thousand lesser lights divídual holds,
With thousand thousand stars, that then appear'd
Spangling the hemisphere. Then, first adorn'd
With her bright luminaries that set and rose, 385
Glad evening and glad morn crown'd the fourth day.



"And God said, 'Let the waters generate Reptile with spawn abundant, living soul: And let fowl fly above the earth, with wings Display'd on the open firmament of heaven!' And God created the great whales, and each Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously The waters generated by their kinds; And every bird of wing after his kind: And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, saying, 'Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas, 396 And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill; And let the fowl be multiplied on th' earth!' Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay, With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals Of fish, that with their fins and shining scales Glide under the green wave, in sculls that oft Bank the mid-sea: part single, or with mate, Graze the sea-weed, their pasture, and thro' groves Of coral stray, or, sporting, with quick glance, 405 Show to the sun their wav'd coats dropp'd with Or, in their pearly shells at ease, attend [gold; Moist nutriment, or under rocks their food In jointed armour watch: on smooth the seal, And bended dolphins, play; part huge of bulk 410 Wallowing unwieldy', enormous in their gait, Tempest the ocean. There leviathan, Hugest of living creatures, on the deep, Stretch'd like a promontory, sleeps or swims, And seems a moving land, and at his gills Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out, a sea. Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores, Their brood as numerous hatch, from th' egg that

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From branch to branch the smaller birds with song
Solac'd the woods, and spread their painted wings
Till even; nor then the solemn nightingale
Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft lays:
Others on silver lakes and rivers bath'd
Their downy breast; the swan, with arched neck
Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit
The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower
The mid aerial sky. Others on ground [sounds
Walk'd firm; the crested cock, whose clarion
The silent hours, and th' other whose gay train
Adorns him, coloured with the florid hue
Of rainbows and starry' eyes. The waters thus
With fish replenish'd, and the air with fowl,
Evening and morn solemniz'd the fifth day."



"The sixth, and of creation last, arose With evening harps and matin; when God said, 450 Let th' earth bring forth soul living in her kind, Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of th' earth, Each in their kind! The earth obey'd, and straight, Opening her fertile womb, teem'd at a birth Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms, Limb'd and full grown: out of the ground up-rose, As from his lair, the wild beast, where he wons In forest wild, in thicket, brake, or den; Among the trees in pairs they rose, they walk'd. The cattle in the fields and meadows green: Those rare and solitary, these in flocks Pasturing at once, and in broad herds upsprung. The grassy clods now calv'd, now half appear'd



The tawny lion, pawing to get free
His hinder parts, then springs as broke from bonds,
And rampant shakes his brinded mane; the ounce,
The libbard, and the tiger, as the mole
Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw
In hillocks; the swift stag from under ground 469
Bore up his branching head; scarce from his mould
Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheav'd
His vastness; fleec'd the flocks and bleating rose,
As plants; ambiguous between sea and land
The river horse and scaly crocodile.

At once came forth whatever creeps the ground, 475
Insect or worm: those wav'd their limber fans
For wings, and smallest lineaments exact,
In all the liveries deck'd of summer's pride,
With spots of gold and purple', azure and green;
These as a line their long dimension drew, 480
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all
Minims of nature; some of serpent kind,
Wondrous in length and corpulence, involv'd
Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept
The parsimonious emmet, provident

Of future, in small room large heart enclos'd!
Pattern of just equality perhaps


Hereafter, join'd in her popular tribes'
Of commonalty; swarming next appear'd'
The female bee, that feeds her husband drone 490
Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells
With honey stor'd. The rest are numberless,
And thou their natures know'st, and gav'st them
Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown [names,
The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field,
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes
And hairy mane terrific, though to thee
Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.



"Now heaven in all her glory shone, and roll'd Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand First wheel'd their course; earth in her rich attire Consummate lovely smil'd; air, water, earth, By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swam was walk'd

Frequent and of the sixth day yet remain'd;
There wanted yet the master work, the end 505
Of all yet done; a creature who, not prone
And brute as other creatures, but endued
With sanctity of reason, might erect
His stature, and upright, with front serene,
Govern the rest, self knowing, and from thence 510
Magnanimous to correspond with heaven;
But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
Descends, thither with heart, and voice, and eyes,
Directed in devotion, to adore

And worship God supreme, who made him chief
Of all his works: therefore th' Omnipotent



Eternal Father (for where is not he

Present?) thus to his Son audibly spake :

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Beast of the field, and over all the earth,
And every creeping thing that creeps the ground!'
This said, he form'd thee, Adam, thee, O Man!
Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath'd
The breath of life; in his own image he
Created thee, in the image of God

Express, and thou becam'st a living soul.

Male he created thee, but thy consort

Female, for race; then bless'd mankind, and said,

Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth,


Subdue it, and throughout dominion hold,

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Yet not till the Creator from his work Desisting, though unwearied, up return'd, Up to the heaven of heavens, his high abode, Thence to behold this new-created world, Th' addition of his empire, how it show'd In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair, Answering his great idea. Up he rode, Follow'd with acclamation, and the sound Symphonious of ten thousand harps that tun'd Angelic harmonies: the earth, the air Resounded, (thou remember'st, for thou heard'st) The heavens, and all the constellations rung, The planets in their station list'ning stood, While the bright pomp ascended jubilant. Open, ye everlasting gates! they sung, Open, ye heavens! your living doors; let in The great Creator from his work return'd Magnificent, his six days' work, a world; Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deign To visit oft the dwellings of just men Delighted, and with frequent intercourse Thither will send his winged messengers On errands of supernal grace.' So sung The glorious train ascending: He through heaven, That open'd wide her blazing portals, led To God's eternal house direct the way, A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold, And pavement stars, as stars to thee appear, Seen in the galaxy, that milky way, Which nightly as a circling zone thou seest Powder'd with stars. And now on earth the seventh Evening arose in Eden, for the sun Was set, and twilight from the east came on, Forerunning night; when at the holy mount Of heaven's high-seated top, th' imperial throne Of Godhead, fix'd for ever firm and sure, The Filial Power arriv'd, and sat him down With his great Father, for he also went Invisible, yet stay'd,, (such privilege Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain'd Author and end of all things, and from work Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd the seventh day, As resting on that day from all his work, But not in silence holy kept; the harp Had work and rested not, the solemn pipe, And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop, All sounds on fret by string or golden wire, Temper'd soft tunings intermix'd with voice Choral or unison of incense clouds Fuming from golden censers hid the mount. Creation and the six days' acts they sung: 'Great are thy works, Jehovah! infinite [tongue Thy power; what thought can measure thee, or Relate thee? greater now in thy return






Than from the giant angels; thee that day 605 Thy thunders magnified; but to create

Is greater than, created, to destroy.



Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
Thy empire? easily the proud attempt
Of spirits apostate and their counsels vain
Thou hast repell'd, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
The number of thy worshippers. Who seeks
To lessen thee, against his purpose serves
To manifest the more thy might: his evil
Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
Witness this new-made world, another heaven
From heaven-gate not far, founded in view
On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea;
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
Numerous, and every star perhaps a world
Of destin'd habitation; but thou know'st
Their seasons: among these the seat of men,
Earth with her nether ocean circumfus'd,
Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy men,
And sons of men, whom God hath thus advancid,
Created in his image, there to dwell
And worship him, and in reward to rule
Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air,
And multiply a race of worshippers
Holy and just: thrice happy, if they know
Their happiness, and persevere upright!"




"So sung they, and the empyrean rung
With hallelujahs: thus was sabbath kept.
And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd 635
How first this world and face of things began,
And what before thy memory was done
From the beginning, that posterity

Inform'd by thee might know; if else thou seek'st
Ought, not surpassing human measure, say."



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