Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books; a second edition followed in 1674, redivided into twelve books (in the manner of the division of Virgil's Aeneid) with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification. The poem concerns the Judeo-Christian story of the Fall of Man; the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is "justify the ways of God to men" and elucidate the conflict between God's eternal foresight and free will.
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Servant of God. Well done; well hast thou fought The better fight, who single hast maintained Against revolted multitudes the cause Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms; And for the testimony of truth hast borne Universal reproach, far worse to bear Than violence; for this was all thy care To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds Judged thee perverse:
Shall that be shut to Man, which to the Beast Is open? or will God incense his ire For such a petty Trespass, and not praise Rather your dauntless vertue, whom the pain Of Death denounc't, whatever thing Death be, Deterrd not from atchieving what might leade To happier life, knowledge of Good and Evil; Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil Be real, why not known, since easier shunnd?
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