Manuscript of Book I, in the hand of an amanuensis, ca. 1665.
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1904
Illumine, what is low raise & support;
That to the highth of this great argument
I may assert eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to Men.
Say first, for heav'n hides nothing from thy view
Nor the deep tract of hell, say first what cause
Mov'd our grand parents in that happie state,
Favour'd of heav'n so highly, to fall off
From thir Creator, & transgresse his will
For one restraint, Lords of the world besides?
Who first seduc'd them to that fowle revolt?
Th' infernal Serpent; hee it was, whose guile
Stirrd up with envy & revenge, deceav'd
The Mother of Mankind; what time his pride
Had cast him out from heav'n; with all his host
Of rebell Angells, by whose aid aspiring
To set himselfe in glory above his peeres,
Hee trusted to have equalld the most High,
If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aime
Against the throne & Monarchy of God,
Raisd impious warr in heav'n & battell proud
With vaine attempt. Him the Almighty power
Hurld headlong flameing from th' ethereal skie
With hideous ruine & combustion downe
To bottomles perdition, there to dwell