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Which tasted works knowledge of good and evil
Thou may'st not ; in the day thou eat'st, thou diest.
Death is the penalty imposed ; beware,
And govern well thy appetite, lest Sin
Surprise thee, and her black attendant, Death.

“ Here finished He, and all that he had made
Viewed, and, behold! all was entirely good.
So even and morn accomplished the sixth Day; 550
Yet not till the Creator, from his work
Desisting, though unwearied, up returned,
Up to the Heaven of Heavens, his high abode,
Thence to behold this new-created World,
The addition of his empire, how it showed
In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair,
Answering his great idea. Up he rode,
Followed with acclamation, and the sound
Symphonious of ten thousand harps, that tuned
Angelic harmonies. The Earth, the Air

560 Resounded (thou remember’st, for thou heard'st), The heavens and all the constellations rung, The planets in their stations listening 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 returned Magnificent, his six days' work, a World ! Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deign To visit oft the dwellings of just men

570 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 opened 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

Powdered 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, the imperial throne
Of Godhead, fixed for ever firm and sure,
The Filial Power arrived, and sat him down
With his great Father; for He also went
Invisible, yet stayed (such privilege
Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordained,

590 Author and end of all things, and, from work Now resting, blessed and hallowed 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, Tempered soft tunings, intermixed with voice Choral or unison ; of incense clouds, Fuming from golden censers, hid the Mount. 600 Creation and the Six Days' acts they sung : Great are thy works, Jehovah ! infinite Thy power! what thought can measure thee, or tongue Relate thee greater now in thy return Than from the Giant-angels? Thee that day 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,

610 Thou hast repelled, while impiously they thought Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw

The number of thy worshipers. 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 destined habitation-but thou know'st
Their seasons; among these the seat of men,
Earth, with her nether ocean circumfused,
Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy men,
And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanced,
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 worshipers

630 Holy and just ! thrice happy, if they know Their happiness, and persevere upright!'

“ So sung they, and the Empyrean rung With halleluiahs. Thus was Sabbath kept. And thy request think now fulfilled, that asked How first this World and face of things began, And what before thy memory was done From the beginning, that posterity, Informed by thee, might know. If else thou seek'st Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.




2 A




Adam inquires concerning celestial motions; is doubtfully answered, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge. Adam assents, and, still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembered since his own creation—his placing in Paradise ; his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society ; his first meeting and nuptials with Eve. His discourse with the Angel thereupon ; who, after admonitions repeated, departs.

THE Angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charming left his voice that he a while
Thought him still speaking, still stood fixed to hear ;
Then, as new-waked, thus gratefully replied :-

“ What thanks sufficient, or what recompense
Equal, have I to render thee, divine
Historian, who thus largely hast allayed
The thirst I had of knowledge, and voutsafed
This friendly condescension to relate
Things else by me unsearchable—now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the high
Creator? Something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.
When I behold this goodly frame, this World,
Of Heaven and Earth consisting, and compute
Their magnitudes—this Earth, a spot, a grain,



An atom, with the Firmament compared
And all her numbered stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible (for such
Their distance argues, and their swift return
Diurnal) merely to officiate light
Round this opacous Earth, this punctual spot,
One day and night, in all their vast survey
Useless besides-reasoning, I oft admire
How Nature, wise and frugal, could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler bodies to create,
Greater so manifold, to this one use,
For aught appears, and on their Orbs impose

Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the sedentary Earth,
That better might with far less compass move,
Served by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives,
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light:
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.”

So spake our Sire, and by his countenance seemed Entering on studious thoughts abstruse ; which Eve 40 Perceiving, where she sat retired in sight, With lowliness majestic from her seat, And grace that won who saw to wish her stay, Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flowers, To visit how they prospered, bud and bloom, Her nursery ; they at her coming sprung, And, touched by her fair tendance, gladlier grew. Yet went she not as not with such discourse Delighted, or not capable her ear Of what was high. Such pleasure she reserved,

50 Adam relating, she sole auditress; Her husband the relater she preferred

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