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Thus they, in lowliest plight, repentant stood Praying; for, from the mercy-seat above, Prevenient grace descending had remov'd

The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh 5 Regen’rate grow instead ; that sighs now breath’d,

Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer
Inspir’d, and wing’d for heaven with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory: yet their port

Not of mean suitors; nor important less
10 Seem'd their petition, than when the ancient pair

In fables old, (less ancient yet than these,)
Deucalion, and chaste Pyrrha, to restore
The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine

Of Themis stood devout. To heaven their prayers 15 Flew up, nor miss'd the way, by envious winds

Blown vagabond, or frustrate : in they pass'd
Dimensionless through heavenly doors; then, clad
With incense, where the golden altar fum'd

By their great Intercessor, came in sight
20 Before the Father's throne: them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began :

“ See, Father, what first-fruits on earth are sprung From thy implanted grace in man! these sighs


And prayers, which, in this golden censer, mix'd 25 “ With incense, I thy priest before thee bring

“ Fruits of more pleasing savour, from thy seed
“ Sown with contrition in his heart, than those
“ Which, his own hand manuring, all the trees

“Of Paradise could have produced, ere fallin
30 “From innocence. Now therefore, bend thine ear

To supplication; hear his sighs, though mute;
“ Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
“ Interpret for him-me, his advocate

“ And propitiation ; all his works on me, 35

Good, or not good, ingraft; my merit those
“Shall perfect, and for these my death shall pay.

Accept me; and, in me, from these receive
“ The smell of peace toward mankind : let him live

“ Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days 40 “Number'd, though sad; till death, his doom, (which I

“ To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse,)
“ To better life shall yield him; where with me
All my redeem'd may dwell in joy and bliss ;
“ Made one with me, as I with thee am one.”

To whom the Father, without cloud, serene :
“ All thy request for man, accepted Son,
“Obtain ; all thy request was my decree.
“ But, longer in that Paradise to dwell,
“ The law I gave to nature him forbids :

Those pure immortal elements that know
“ No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul,

Eject him, tainted now; and purge him off, “ As a distemper gross, to air as gross,

“ And mortal food; as may dispose him best 55 “For dissolution, wrought by sin that first

Distemper'd all things, and of incorrupt

Corrupted. I, at first, with two fair gifts “ Created him endow'd-with happiness,

“ And immortality: that, fondly lost; 60 « This other serv'd but to eternize woe,

“ Till I provided death : so death becomes



“ His final remedy; and, after life
“ Tried in sharp tribulation, and refin'd

“By faith and faithful works, to second life, 65 “ Wak'd in the renovation of the just,

“Resigns him up, with heaven and earth renewid.
“But let us call to synod all the blest
“Through heaven's wide bounds: from them I will not

“ hide

My judgments, how with mankind I proceed; 70 “As how with peccant angels late they saw, “ And in their state, though firm, stood more confirm’d.”

He ended; and the Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that watch'd : he blew

His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
75 When God descended, and perhaps once more

To sound at gen'ral doom.-The angelic blast
Fill'd all the regions : from their blissful bowers
Of amaranthine shade, fountain or spring,

By the waters of life, where'er they sat 80 In fellowships of joy, the sons of light

Hasted, resorting to the summons high;
And took their seats : till, from his throne supreme,
The Almighty thus pronounc'd his sov'ran will :

“O Sons, like one of us man is become
85 “ To know both good and evil, since his taste

“Of that defended fruit; but let him boast
“His knowledge of good lost, and evil got:
“Happier, had it suffic'd him to have known

“Good by itself, and evil not at all!
90 " He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite,

My motions in him ; longer than they move,
“ His heart I know how variable and vain,
“ Self-left. Lest therefore his now bolder hand

“ Reach also of the tree of life, and eat, 95 And live for ever-dream at least to live

For ever, to remove him I decree,
“ And send him from the garden forth, to till
“ The ground whence he was taken--fitter soil !



“ Michael, this my behest have thou in charge : “ Take to thee from among the cherubim

Thy choice of flaming warriors; lest the fiend,
" Or in behalf of man, or to invade
“Vacant possession, some new trouble raise :
“ Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God,

Without remorse, drive out the sinful pair;
From hallow'd ground the unholy; and denounce
“ To them, and to their progeny, from thence
“Perpetual banishment. Yet, lest they faint

“At the sad sentence rigorously urg'd,
110 “(For I behold them soften'd, and with tears

“ Bewailing their excess,) all terror hide.
“ If patiently thy bidding they obey,
“ Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveal

“ To Adam what shall come in future days, 115 “ As I shall thee enlighten; intermix

My covenant in the woman's seed renew'd; “ So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace. “ And on the east side of the garden, place,

“Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs, 120 “ Cherubic watch; and of a sword the flame

Wide-waving; all approach far off to fright,
And guard all passage to the tree of life;
“ Lest Paradise a receptacle prove
“ To spirits foul, and all my trees their prey;
“: With whose stoln fruit man once more to delude."

He ceas'd; and th' arch-angelic Power prepar'd
For swift descent; with him the cohort bright
Of watchful cherubim: four faces each

Had, like a double Janus; all their shape
130 Spangled with eyes, more numerous than those

Of Argus; and more wakeful than to drowse,
Charm'd with Arcadian pipe, the pastoral reed
Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Meanwhile,

To re-salute the world with sacred light,
135 Leucothea wak'd, and with fresh dews embalm'd

The earth; when Adam, and first matron Eve,


Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above-new hope to spring

Out of despair-joy, but with fear yet linked; 140 Which thus to Eve his welcome words renew'd :

“Eve! easily may faith admit that all “ The good which we enjoy from heaven descends : “ But, that from us aught should ascend to heaven,

“So prevalent as to concern the mind
145 “Of God high-blest, or to incline his will,

“ Hard to belief may seem; yet this will prayer,
“ Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne
“ Ev'n to the seat of God. For since I sought

By prayer the offended Deity to appease, 150 “ Kneeld, and before him humbled all my heart,

“Methought I saw him placable, and mild,
“ Bending his ear: persuasion in me grew
“ That I was heard with favour; peace return'd

“ Home to my breast; and to my memory 155 “ His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe ;

Which, then not minded in dismay, yet now “ Assures me that the bitterness of death “ Is past, and we shall live. Whence hail to thee,

Eve rightly call’d, mother of all mankind ! 160 “ Mother of all things living, since by thee

“ Man is to live ; and all things live for man."

To whom thus Eve, with sad demeanour meek: “ Ill-worthy I, such title should belong “ To me transgressor! who, for thee ordain'd A help, became thy snare: to me reproach “ Rather belongs, distrust, and all dispraise. “But infinite in pardon was my Judge, “ That I, who first brought death on all, am grac'd

“ The source of life: next favourable, thou, 170 “ Who highly thus to entitle me vouchsafʼst,

“ Far other name deserving. But the field
“ To labour calls us now with sweat impos’d,

Though after sleepless night; for see! the morn, “ All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins


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