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Melt, as I do, yet public reason just,
| Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound Honour and empire with revenge enlarg'd, of waters issued from a cave, and spread By conquering this new world, compels me now Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov'd To do wbat else, though damn'd, I should abhor.” |
| Pure as the expanse of Heaven; I thither went So spake the fiend, and with necessity,
With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down The tyrant's plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.
Ou the green bank, to look into the clear Then froin his lofty stand on that high tree Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky. Down he alights among the sportful herd
As I bent down to look, just opposite Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one, A shape within the watery gleam appear'd, Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end Bending to look on me : I started back, Nearer to view his prey, and, unespied, | It started back; but pleas'd I soon return'd, To mark what of their state he more might Pleas'd it return'd as soon with answering looks learn,
Of sympathy and love: there I had fix'd By word or action mark'd : about them round
Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with rain desire, A lion now he stalks with fiery glare;
Had not a voice thus warn'd me, "What thou Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spied
secst, In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play, What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself; Straight couches close, then rising, changes oft With thee it came and goes : but follow me, His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground, And I will bring thee where no shadow stays Whence rushing he might surest seize them | Thy coming, and thy soft embraces, he both,
Whose image thou art ; him thou shalt enjoy Grip'd in each paw : when Adam, first of men, Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear To first of women, Eve, thus moving speech, Multitudes like thyself, and thence be callid Turn'd him, all ear to hear new utterance fow. Mother of human race. What could I do,
“Sole partner, and sole part, of all these joys, But follow straight, invisibly thus led ? Dearer chyself than all ; needs must the Power Till I espied thee, fair indeed and tall, That made us, and for us this ample world, Under a platane; yet methought less fair, Be infinitely good, and of his good
Less winning soft, less amiably mild, As liberal and free as intinite;
| Than that smooth watery image: back I turn'd; That rais'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here Thou following cryd'st aloud, “Return fair In all this happiness, who at his hand
Eve, Have nothing merited, nor can perform
| Whom flys't thou? whom thou fly’st, of him Aught whereof he hath need; he who requires
thou art, From as no other service than to keep
His Aesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent This one, this easy charge, of all the trees Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart, In Paradise that bear delicious fruit
Substantial life, to have thee by my side So various, not to taste that only tree
llenceforth an individual solace dear; Of knowledge, planted by the tree of life; Part of my soul I seek thee, and thee claim So near grows death to life, whate'er death is, My other half: With that thy gentle hand Some dreadful thing no doubt ; for well thou Seiz'd mine: I yielded; and from that time see • know'st
How beauty is excell'd by manly grace, God hath prononuc'd it death to taste that tree, And wisdom, which alone is truly fạir." The only sign of our obedience left,
| So spake our general mother, and with eyes Among so many signs of power and rule Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd, Conferr'd upon us, and durinion given
And meek surrender, half-embracing lean'd Over all other creatures that possess
On our first father; half her swelling breast Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not thiuk hard | Naked met his, under the flowing gold One easy prohibition, who enjoy
Of her loose tresses hid : he in delight Free leare so large to all things else, and choice Both of her beauty, and submissive charms, Unlimited of manifold delights:
Smild with superior love, as Japiter But let us ever praise him, and extol
On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds His bounty, following our delightful task, | That shed May flowers; and press'd her matron To prune these growing plants, and tend these
(sweet." With kisses pure : aside the Devil turn'd Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were For envy; yet with jealous leer malign
To whom thus Eve replied. “O thou for whom Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plain'd. And from whom I was form'd, flesh of thy flesh, ! " Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these And without whom am to no end, my guide
two, And head! what thou hast said is just and right. | Imparadis'd in one another's arms, For we to Him indeed all praises owe,
The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill And daily thanks; I chiefly, who enjoy
Of bliss on bliss; while I to Hell am thrust, So far the happier lot, enjoying thee
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire, Pre-eminent by so much odds, while thou
Among our other torments not the least, Like consort to toyself canst no where find. Still unfulfill'd, with pain of longing pines. That day I oft remember, when from sleep Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd I first awak'd, and found myself repos'd
From their own mouths : all is not theirs, it Luder a shade on flowers, much wondering where
seems; And what I was, whence thither brought, and One fatal tree there stands, of knowledge callid, how,
Forbidden them to taste: Knowledge forbidden?
Arrayin er flight ese volik. thither prime
Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord | Well known from Heaven; and since meridiani Envy then that? Can it be sin to know?
hour Can it be death? And do they only stand No creature thence: if spirit of other sort, By ignorance? Is that their happy state, So minded, have o'er-leap'd these earthy bounds The proof of their obedience and their faith? On purpose, hard thou know'st it to exclude O fair foundation laid whereon to build
Spiritual substance with corporeal bar. Their ruin ! Hence I will excite their minds | But if within the circuit of these walks, With more desire to know, and to reject | In whatsoever shape he Jurk, of whom Envious commands, invented with design, Thou tellist, by morrow dawning I shall know." To keep them low, whom koowledge might exalt So promis'd he; and Uriel to his charge Equal with gods : aspiring to be such,
Return'd on that bright beam, whose point now They taste and die : what likelier can ensue?
rais'd But first with narrow search I must walk round Bore him slope downward to the Sun now fall’n This garden, and no corner leave unspied; Beneath the Azores; whether the prime orb, A chance but chance may lead where I may meet Incredible how swift, had thither roll'd Scme wandering spirit of Heaven by fountain Diurnal, or this less volúbil Earth, side,
By shorter flight to the east, had left him there Or in thick shade retird, from him to draw Arraying with reflected purple and gold What further would be learn'd. Live while ye The clouds that on his western throne attend. may,
Now came still Evening on, and Twilight gray Yet happy pair ; enjoy, till I return,
| Had in her sober livery all things clad; Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed.” Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd, They to their grassy couch, these to their nests But with sly circumspection, and began . Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale ; Through wood, through waste, o'er hill, o'er She all night long her amorous descant sung; dale, his roam.
Silence was pleas'd: now glow'd the firmament Mean while in utmost longitude, where Heaven With living sapphires : Hesperus, that led With earth and ocean meets, the setting Sun The starry host, rode brightest, till the Moon, Slowly descended, and with right aspect
Rising in clouded majesty, at length Against the eastern gate of Paradise
Apparent queen unveil'd her peerless light, Levell’d his evening rays : it was a rock
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw. Of alabaster, pil'd up to the clouds,
When Adam thus to Eve, “Fair consort, the Conspicuous far, winding with one ascent
hour Accessible from Earth, one entrance high; Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest, The rest was craggy cliff, thatoverhung
Mind us of like repose ; since God hath set Still as it rose, impossible to climb.
Labour and rest, as day and night, to meu Betwixt these rocky pillars Gabriel sat,
Successive ; and the timely dew of sleep, Chief of the angelic guards, awaiting night; Now falling with soft slumbrous weight, inclines About him exercis'd heroic games
Our eye-lids: other creatures all day long The unarmed youth of Heaven, but nigh at hand Rove idle, unemploy'd, and less need rest; Celestial armoury, shields, helms, and spears, Man hath his daily work of body or mind Hung high, with diamond flaming, and with | Appointed, which declares his dignity, gold.
And the regard of Heaven on all his ways;
And of their doings God takes no account.
With first approach of light, we must be risen, Prom what point of his compass to beware And atour pleasant labour to reform Impetuous winds: he thus began in baste. Yon flowery arbours, yonder alleys green,
“ Gabriel, to thee thy course by lot hath given Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown, Charge and strict watch, that to this happy That mock our scant manuring, and require · place
More hands thanours to lop their wanton growth No evil thing approach or enter in.
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums, This day at height of noon came to my sphere That lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth, A spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to know
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease; More of the Almighty's works, and chiefly Man, Mean while, as Nature wills, night bids us God's latest image: I describ'd his way
rest." Bent all on speed, and mark'd his aery gait; To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty But in the mount that lies from Eden north,
adorn'd. Where he first lighted, soon discern'd his looks “ My author and disposer, what thou bidst Alien from Heaven, with passions foul obscurd: | Unargued I obey: so God ordains; Mine eye pursued him still, but under shade God is thy law, thou mine: tu know no more Lost sight of him: one of the banish'd crew, Is woman's happiest knowledge, and her praise. I fear, hath venturd from the deep to raise With thee conversing I forget all time; New troubles ; him thy care must be to find.” All seasons, and their change, all please alike.
To whom the wing'd warrior thus return'd. Sweet is the breath of Morn, her rising sweet, « Uriel, no wonder if thy perfect sight,
With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the Sun, Amid the Sun's bright circle where thou sitst, When first on this delightful land he spreads See far and wide: in at this gate none pass His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and The vigilance here plac'd, but such as come
Glistering with dew : fragrant the fertile Earth | Such was their awe of Man. : In shadier boxer
herbs, With charm of earliest birds; nor rising Sun Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed; On this delightful land ; nor herb, fruit, flower, And heavenly quires the hymenean sung, Glistering with dew; nor fragrance after show- | What day the genjal angel to our sire ers;
Brought her, in naked beauty more adorn'd, Nor grateful Evening mild ; nor silent Night, More lovely, than Pandora, whom the gods With this her solemn bird; nor walk by Moon, Endow'd with all their gifts, and O too like Or glittering star-light, without thee is sweet. In sad event, when to the unwiser son But wherefore all night long shine these ? for Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnar'd whom
Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all On him who had stole Jove's anthentic fire. eyes ?" .
Thus, at their shady lodge arriv'd, both stood,
Which they beheld, the Moon's resplendent globe, By morrow evening, and from land to land And starry pole: “ Thou also mad'st the night, In order, though to nations yet unborn,
Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day, Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise; Which we, in our appointed work employ'd, Lest total Darkness should by night regain Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help Her old possession, and extinguish life,
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss In Nature, and all things; which these soft fires Ordain'd by thee ; and this delicious place Not only enlighten, but with kindly heat
For us too large, where thy abundance wants Of various influence foment and warm,
Partakers, and incropt falls to the ground. Temper or nourish, or in part shed down
But thou hast promis'd from us two a race Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
To fill the Earth, who shall with us extol On Earth, made hereby apter to receive
Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake, Perfection from the Sun's more potent ray. And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep." These then, though unbeheld in deep of night, This said unanimous, and other rites Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were Observing none, but adoration pure none,
(praise : / Which God likes best, into their inmost bower That Heaven would want spectators, God want Handed they went; and, eas'd the putting off Millions of spiritual creatures walk the Earth These troublesome disguises which we wear, Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep : Straight side by side were laid ; nor turn'd, I All these with ceaseless praise his works be
Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites Both day and night : how often from the steep Mysterious of commubial love refus'd : Of echoing bill or thicket have we heard
Whatever hypocrites austerely talk Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Of purity, and place, and innocence, Sole, or responsive each to other's note,
Defaming as impure what God declares Singing their great Creator ? oft in bands
Pure, and commands to some, leaves free to all. While they keep watch, or nightly ronnding | Our Maker bids increase ; who bids abstain
But our destroyer, foe to God and Man? With heavenly touch of instrumental sounds Hail, wedded love, mysterious law, true source In full harmonic number join'd, their songs Ofhaman offspring, sole propriety Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Hea In Paradise of all things common else. ven."
By thee adulterous Lust was driven from men Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd Among the bestial herds to range; by thee On to their blissful bower : it was a place
Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure, Chos'n by the sovran Planter, when he fram'd Relations dear, and all the charities All things to Man's delightful use; the roof . Of father, son, and brother, first were known. Of thickest covert was inwoven shade
Far be it, that I should write thee sin or blame, Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew
Or think thee unbefitting holiest place, Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side
Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets, Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub,
Whose bed is undefild and chaste pronounc'd, Fenc'd up the verdant wall ; each beauteous | Present, or past, as saints and patriarchs us’d. flower,
Here Love his golden shafts employs, here Iris all hues, roses, and jessamin,
lights Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and His constant lamp, and waves his purple wings, Mosaic; nuderfoot the violet,
[wrought Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay
Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendear'd, Brvider'd the ground, more colour'd than with Casual fruition ; nor in court-amours,
Mix'd dance, or wanton mask, or midnight ball, Of costliest emblem : other creature here, Or serenate, which the starved lover sings Bird, beast, insect, or worm, dust enter none, To his prond fair, best quitted with disdain.
These, lull’d by nightingales, embracing slept, i Your message, like to end as much in vain.” *
pure; Half way up hill this vast sublunar vault,
That glory then, when thou no more wast good, And from their ivory port the cherubim,
Departed from thee; and thou resernblest now Forth issuing at the accustom'd hour, stood arm'd Thy sin and place of doorn obscure and foul. To their night watches in warlike parade;
But come, for thou, be sure, shall give account When Gabriel to big next in power thus spake.
| To him who sent us, whose charge is to keep “Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the south This place inviolable, and these frum harm. With strietest watch; these other wheel the! So spake the cherub; and his grave rebuke north;
Severe in youthful beauty, added grace
His lustre visibly impair'd; yet seem'd
Or all at once; more glory will be won,
" Will save us trial what the least can do
The fiend replied not, overcome with rage; Hitherward bent (who could have thought ?) | But, like a proud steed rein'd, went haughty' on, escap'd
Chaniping his iron curt: to strive or ily
(guards Dazzling the Moon; these to the bower direct The western point, where those half-rounding In search of whom they sought : him there they Just met, and closing stood in squadron join'd,
Awaiting next command. To whom their chief,
“o friends! I hear the tread of nimble feet,
And with them comes a third of regal port,
[found, Touch'd lightly; for no falsehood ean endure And brief related whom they brought, where Touch of celestial temper, but returns
How busied, in what form and posture couch’d. Of force to its own likeness : áp he starts
To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake. Discover'd and surpris'd. As when a spark " Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds preLights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid
To thy transgressions, and disturb'd the charge
To question thy bold entrance on this place;
Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss ?" Yet thus, immov'd with fear, aecost him soon. To whom thus Satan with contemptuous “Which of those rebel spirits adjudg'd to Hell brow.
[wise, Com'st thou esrand thy prison? and, transform'd, “ Gabriel ! thou hadst in Heaven the esteem of Why sat'st thou like an enemy in wait,
And such I held thee; but this question ask'd Here watching at the head of these that sleep?" | Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his “ Know ye not then,” said Satan, fill'd with
Who would not, finding way, break loose from
Torment with ease, and soonest recompense | Patron of liberty, who more than thou
But mark what I arreed thee now, Avant ; In that dark durance: thus much what was ask'd. | Fly thither whence thou fledst! If from this The rest is true, they found me where they say;
hour But that implies not violence or harm.”
Within these hallow'd limits thou appear, Thus he in scorn. The warlike angel mov'd, Back to the infernal pit I drag thoe chain'd, Disdainfully half smiling, thus replied.
And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn “ O loss of one in Heaven to judge of wise
The facile gates of Hell too slightly barr'd." Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew,
So threaten'd he; but Satan to no threats And now returns him from his prison 'scap'd, Gave heed, but waxing more in rage replied. Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise
" Then when I am thy captive talk of chains, Or not, who ask what boldness brought him Proud limitary cherub! but ere then hither
Far heavier load thyself expect to feel Unlicens'd from his bounds in Hell prescrib'd; From my prevailing arm, though Heaven's King So wise he judges it to fly from pain
Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy com However, and to 'scape his punishment !
peers, So judge thou still, presumptuous ! till the wrath, | Us'd to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels Which thou incurröst by flying, meet thy flight In progress through the road of Heaven starSevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to
1 While thus he spake, the angelic squadron Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain | Turn'd fiery red, sharpening in mooned borns Can equal anger infinite provok'd.
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee / With ported spears, as thick as when a field Came not all Hell broke loose ? is pain to them Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends Less pain, less to be filed; or thou than they Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind Less hardy to endure; courageous chief! Sways them; the careful ploughman doubting The first in fight from pain ! hadst thou alleg'd
stands, To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
Lest on the threshing floor his hopeful sheaves Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.” Prove chaff. On the other side, Satan, alarm’d, To which the fiend thus answer'd, frowning Collecting all his might, dilated stood, stern.
Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremov'd: " Not that I less endure or shrink from pain, His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest Insulting angel! well thou know'st I stood Sat Horrour plum'd; nor wanted in his grasp Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid
What seem'd both spear and shield: now dreadful The blasting vollied thunder made all speed,
deeds And seconded thy else not dreaded spear. Might have ensued, nor only Paradise But still thy words at random, as before,
In this commotion, but the starry cope Argue thy inexperience what behoves
Of Heaven perhaps, or all the elements From hard assays and ill successes past
At least had gone to wrack, disturb'd and torn A faithful leader, not to hazard all
With violence of this conflict, had not soon Through ways of danger by himself untried : The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray, 1, therefore, I alone first undertouk
Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet seen To wing the desolate abyss, and spy
| Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign, This new created world, whereof in Hell
Wherein all things created first he weigh’d, Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
The pendulous round Earth with balanc'd air Better abode, and my afflicted powers
In counterpoise, now ponders all events, To settle here on Earth, or in mid air;
Battles and realms : in these he put two weights, Though for possession put to try once inore The sequel each of parting and of fight: What thou and thy gay legions dare against; The latter quick up fiew, and kick'd the beam ; Whose easier business were to serve their Lord Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend. High up in Heaven, with songs to hymn his “Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st throne,
mine; And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight.” Neither our own, but given : what folly then
To whom the warrior-angel soon replied. | To boast what arms can do? since thine no " To say and straight unsay, pretending first
more Wise to fly pain, professing pext the spy,
Than Heaven permits, nor mine, though douArgues no leader but a liar trac'd,
bled now Satan, and couldst thou faithful add ? O name, To trample thee as mire: for proof look up, O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd!
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign; Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew? Where thou art weigh’d, and shown how light, Army of fiends, fit body to fit head.
how weak, Was this your discipline and faith engag'd, If thou resist.” The fiend louk'd up, and knew Your military obedience, to dissolve
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled Allegiance to the acknowledg'd Power supreme? | Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem