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“ By which to heavenly love thou may'st ascend,
“ Not sunk in carnal pleasure ; for which cause,

Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.” 595 To whom thus, half-abash’d, Adam replied:

“ Neither her outside form’d so fair, nor aught
“ In procreation common to all kinds,
“(Though higher of the genial bed by far,

“ And with mysterious reverence I deem,)
600 “ So much delights me, as those graceful acts,

“Those thousand decencies that daily flow
“From all her words, and actions mix'd with love
“ And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd

“ Union of mind, or in us both one soul : 605 Harmony to behold in wedded pair

“More grateful than harmonious sound to th' ear;
Yet these subject not: I to thee disclose
“ What inward thence I feel, not therefore foil'd,

“ Who meet with various objects, from the sense 610 “ Variously representing ; yet, still free,

Approve the best, and follow what I approve. “ To love, thou blam'st me not; for love, thou say'st, “Leads up to heaven; is both the way and guide:

“ Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask: 615

“ Love not the heavenly spirits ? and how their love
“ Express they? by looks only? or do they mix
“ Irradiance? virtual, or immediate touch ?"

To whom the angel, with a smile that glow'd

Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue,
620 Answer'd: “Let it suffice thee that thou know'st

“Us happy; and, without love, no happiness.
“ Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st,

(And pure thou wert created,) we enjoy

“In eminence; and obstacle find none
623 “Of membrane, joint or limb, exclusive bars :

“ Easier than air with air, if spirits embrace,
“ Total they mix, union of pure with pure
“ Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need,
As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul,

630

“ But I can now no more: the parting sun, “ Beyond the earth's green cape and verdant isles,

Hesperian sets, my signal to depart. “ Be strong, live happy, and love! but, first of all,

Him, whom to love is to obey; and keep 635 “ His great command: take heed lest passion sway

• Thy judgment to do aught which else free will “ Would not admit: thine, and of all thy sons, “ The weal, or woe, in thee is plac'd; beware!

“I in thy persevering shall rejoice, 640 “And all the blest. Stand fast! to stand, or fall,

“ Free in thine own arbitrement it lies.
“ Perfect within, no outward aid require;
“ And all temptation to transgress repel."

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus 645 Follow'd with benediction : “Since to part,

“Go, heavenly guest, ethereal messenger,
“ Sent from whose sov'reign goodness I adore !
« Gentle to me and affable hath been

Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd ever 650 “ With grateful memory: thou to mankind

“ Be good and friendly still, and oft return!"

So parted they; the angel up to heaven
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.

BOOK IX.

THE ARGUMENT.

Satan having encompassed the earth, with meditated guile returns, as a

mist, by night into Paradise; enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alleging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone: Eve, loth to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength; Adam at last yields: the serpent finds her alone : his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking ; with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech, and such understanding, not till now: the serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he had attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden : the serpent, now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments, induces her at length to eat; she, pleased with the taste, deliberates awhile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not; at last brings him of the fruit; relates what persuaded her to eat thereof: Adam, at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love, to perish with her; and extenuating the trespass, eats also of the fruit: the effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK IX.

No more of talk where God, or angel guest,
With man, as with his friend, familiar us'd
To sit indulgent, and with him partake

Rural repast; permitting him the while 5 Venial discourse unblam'd. I now must change

Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal! On the part of man, revolt,
And disobedience: on the part of heaven,

Now alienated, distance, and distaste,
10 Anger, and just rebuke, and judgment given,

That brought into this world—a world of woe-
Sin, and her shadow Death, and Misery
Death's harbinger. Sad task! yet argument

Not less, but more heroic than the wrath 15 Of stern Achilles on his foe pursued

Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus, for Lavinia disespous'd;
Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long

Perplex'd the Greek, and Cytherea's son: 20 If answerable style I can obtain

Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,

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