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“ And from whom, I was form'd; flesh of thy flesh,
“ And without whom am to no end; my guide,
“ And head! what thou hast said is just and right.

“For we to him indeed all praises owe, 445 “And daily thanks; I chiefly, who enjoy

“So far the happier lot, enjoying thee,
“Pre-eminent by so much odds, while thou
“ Like consort to thyself canst no where find.

“ That day I oft remember, when from sleep 450 “ I first awak'd, and found myself repos'd

“ Under a shade, on flowers; much wondering where, " And what I was—whence thither brought, and how. “Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound

“Of waters issu'd from a cave, and spread 455 “Into a liquid plain; then stood unmov'd,

“Pure as the expanse of heaven: I thither went
“With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down
“On the green bank, to look into the clear

“Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky. 460 “As I bent down to look, just opposite

“ A shape within the watery gleam appear’d,

Bending to look on me: I started back,
“It started back: but pleas'd I soon return'd;

“Pleas'd it return'd as soon, with answering looks 465"Of sympathy and love: there I had fix'd

“Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,
“ Had not a voice thus warn'd me: 'What thou seest,
"• What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself;
6. With thee it came and

goes ;

but follow me, 470 «And I will bring thee where no shadow stays

“'Thy coming, and thy soft embraces; he
“ • Whose image thou art: him thou shalt enjoy
“Inseparably thine; to him shalt bear

“Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call’d 475 “Mother of human race. What could I do,

“But follow straight, invisibly thus led,
“ Till I espied thee, fair indeed, and tall,
“ Under a plantain? yet, methought, less fair,

Less winning soft, less amiably mild,
480 “ Than that smooth watery image: back I turn'd;

“ Thou, following, criedst aloud, ‘Return, fair Eve!
" Whom flyest thou? Whom thou flyest, of him thou

'art,
“His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent

Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart, 485 “Substantial life, to have thee by my side

«. Henceforth an individual solace dear :
“Part of my soul, I seek thee, and thee claim,

My other half! With that thy gentle hand
“ Seiz'd mine: 1 yielded; and from that time see
490“ How beauty is excell'd by manly grace

And wisdom, which alone is truly fair."

So spake our general mother, and with eyes
Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,

And meek surrender, half-embracing lean'd 495 On our first father; half her swelling breast

Naked met his, under the flowing gold
Of her loose tresses hid: he, in delight
Both of her beauty and submissive charms,

Smild with superior love, as Jupiter
500 On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds

That shed May flowers, and press'd her matron lip
With kisses pure.

Aside the Devil turn'd
For envy; yet with jealous leer malign
Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus 'plain'd:

“Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two, Imparadis'd in one another's arms,

(The happier Eden !) shall enjoy their fill
Of bliss on bliss; while I to hell am thrust,

“ Where neither joy, nor love, but fierce desire, 510 Among our other torments not the least,

“ Still unfulfill’d, with pain of longing pines.
“ Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd
“ From their own mouths: all is not theirs, it seems:

“One fatal tree there stands, of knowledge call’d, 515 “Forbidden them to taste: knowledge forbidden !

505

“Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord
Envy them that? Can it be sin to know?
“Can it be death? And do they only stand

“By ignorance? Is that their happy state,
520 “ The proof of their obedience and their faith?

“O fair foundation laid whereon to build
“ Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds
“ With more desire to know, and to reject

“ Envious commands, invented with design
525 “ To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt

Equal with gods: aspiring to be such,

They taste, and die! what likelier can ensue?
“ But first, with narrow search, I must walk round

“ This garden, and no corner leave unspied; 530 “A chance, but chance may lead where I may meet

“Some wandering spirit of heaven, by fountain-side,
“Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw
“ What further would be learn'd. Live while ye may,

“ Yet happy pair! enjoy, till I return,
535 “Short pleasures; for long woes are to succeed."

So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,
But with sly circumspection, and began
Through wood, through waste, o'er hill, o'er dale, his roam.

Meanwhile, in utmost longitude, where heaven 540 With earth and ocean meets, the setting sun

Slowly descended, and, with right aspect,
Against the eastern gate of Paradise
Levell’d his evening rays: it was a rock

Of alabaster, pild up to the clouds,
545 Conspicuous far, winding with one ascent

Accessible from earth, one entrance high :
The rest was craggy cliff, that overhung
Still as it rose, impossible to climb.

Betwixt these rocky pillars Gabriel sat,
550 Chief of the angelic guards, awaiting night;

About him exercis'd heroic games
The unarmed youth of heaven; but nigh at hand
Celestial armoury, shields, helms, and spears,

565

Hung high, with diamond flaming, and with gold. 555 Thither came Uriel, gliding through the even

On a sunbeam ; swift as a shooting star
In autumn thwarts the night, when vapours fir'd
Impress the air, and show the mariner

From what point of his compass to beware 560 Impetuous winds: he thus began in haste.

Gabriel! to thee thy course by lot hath given Charge and strict watch, that to this happy place “No evil thing approach, or enter in. “ This day, at height of noon, came to my sphere “A spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to know “ More of the Almighty's works, and chiefly man, “God's latest image: I describ'd his way, “ Bent all on speed, and mark'd his aery gait;

“ But, in the mount that lies from Eden north 570 “ Where he first lighted, soon discern’d his looks

“ Alien from heaven, with passions foul obscur'd:
“Mine eye pursued him still, but under shade
Lost sight of him. One of the banish'd crew,

“I fear, hath ventur'd from the deep to raise 575 “New troubles : him thy care must be to find.”

To whom the winged warrior thus return'd.
“ Uriel! no wonder if thy perfect sight,
“ Amid the sun's bright circle where thou sitt'st,

“ See far and wide. In at this gate none pass 580 “ The vigilance here plac'd, but such as come

“ Well known from heaven; and since meridian hour
“No creature thence: if spirit of other sort
“So minded, have o'erleap'd these earthy bounds

On purpose ; hard thou know'st it to exclude 585 “Spiritual substance with corporeal bar.

“ But if within the circuit of these walks,
“In whatsoever shape, he lurk of whom
“Thou tell'st, by morrow dawning I shall know."

So promis'd he; and Uriel to his charge 590 Return'd on that bright beam, whose point now rais'd

Bore him slope downward to the sun, now fallen

610

Beneath the Azores; whether the prime orb,
Incredible how swift, had thither rolld

Diurnal; or this less volúble earth,
595 By shorter flight to the East, had left him there,

Arraying with reflected purple, and gold,
The clouds that on his western throne attend.

Now came still evening on, and twilight gray

Had in her sober livery all things clad; 600 Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,

They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were slunk ;-all but the wakeful nightingale
She, all night long, her amorous descant sung;

Silence was pleas’d: now glow'd the firmament 605 With living sapphires; Hesperus, that led

The starry host, rode brightest; till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveild her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.

When Adam thus to Eve: “ Fair consort! the hour
“Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest,
“Mind us of like repose; since God hath set
“ Labour and rest, as day and night, to men

“Successive; and the timely dew of sleep,
615 “Now falling with soft slumbrous weight, inclines

“Our eye-lids. Other creatures all day long
“Rove idle, unemploy'd, and less need rest :
“ Man hath his daily work of body, or mind,

Appointed, which declares his dignity,
620 “And the regard of Heaven on all his ways;

“ While other animals unactive range,
“ And of their doings God takes no account.
“Tomorrow, ere fresh morning streak the East

“With first approach of light, we must be risen, 625 “ And at our pleasant labour, to reform

“Yon flowery arbours, yonder alleys green,
“ Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
“ That mock our scant manuring, and require
“ More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth :

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