O ye old blind master of tale thus long
Though in darkness sole left but not of light
Removed: what heavenly orient beam
Must lone hath shone upon the intellect
Of thine and spring divine inspiration.
O weaver of the story of man: in
A single narrative alone it stands
But encompassing all the theatre
Which is humanity: what is the fall
Of fair ancestral couple first if not
The fall of every human thence: all spite
And malice, Pandemonium’s domain,
Lay dormant not but endlessly renewed
As each day trial over trial’s heaped.
But meekness twined along obedience,
A foul conscription fated, shatters soon:
To yearn for more than what allotted is
To tempters ever inner found transgress
Is destiny and doom to man reserved,
If self-caused doom it be for who but God
Hath tilled lone action impious upon
His seed most pure and made of guilt first free?
Can thus be sin among the offspring found,
Amid the serpent’s bruisers, children all
To Eve, if she of Adam's rib was bred
And he in turn creation prime of God?
Is one fit perfect ergo capable sole
Of art imperfect? Proved thus false, decreed
The godhead then perdition void of flight.
Of tyrants chthonic is this fair land plagued
At length; what need exists of petulant
Unearthly lords? Be gone creator sad!
In mischief made, in mischief we thus fell.
But leave to us this all corrupted plane:
Though our poor beating hearts in darkness cast
With hope never brightest glimmer still
That holy edifice be built from ruin.
To free will bound, to freedom our not lost.
O father high who hath forsaken us
In our raw hour of need! So, tarry not
In cause thence solitary, made next strong:
Within ourselves long godhood we soon found.
On heaven earth and earth in heaven’s gone,
Left unregainable, but I tell thee
A paradise as such is better lost.
(Thank you for reading that! Actual [practical] review: beautifully crafted verse, Milton's a true master when it comes to developing eternal characters. If you're even remotely interested in epic poetry please be kind to yourself and read this.)