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His barren leaves. Them thus employ'd beheld With pity heaven's high King, and to him call'd Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deign'd
To travel with Tobias, and secur'd His marriage with the seventimes-wedded maid.
Raphael, said he, thou hear'st what stir on earth Satan, from hell scap'd through the darksome gulf, Hath rais'd in paradise, and how disturb'd 226
This night the human pair; how he designs
In them at once to ruin all mankind:
Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend
Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade 230
Thou find'st him from the heat of noon retir'd,
To respit his day-labour with repast,
Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,
As may advise him of his happy state,
Happiness in his power left free to will, 235 Left to his own free will, his will though free,
Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware
He swerve not too secure: tell him withal
His danger, and from whom; what enemy,
Late fall'n himself from heaven, is plotting now
The fall of others from like state of bliss;
By violence? no; for that shall be withstood,
But by deceit and lies; this let him know,
Lest wilfully transgressing he pretend
Surprisal, unadmonish'd, unforewarn'd. 245
So spake th' eternal Father, and fulfill'd
All justice: nor delay'd the winged saint
After his charge receiv'd; but from among
Thousand celestial ardours, where he stood
Veil'd with his gorgeous wings, upspringing light
Flew through the midst of heaven; th' angelic
On each hand parting, to his speed gave way
Through all th' empyreal road; till at the gate
Of heaven arriv'd, the gate self-open'd wide
On golden hinges turning, as by work 255
Divine the sov'reign Architect had fram'd.
From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,
Star interpos'd, however small he sees,
Not unconform to other shining globes,
Earth and the garden of God, with cedars crown'd
Above all hills: as when by night the glass 261
Of Galileo, less assur'd, observes
Imagin'd lands and regions in the moon:
Or pilot from amidst the Cyclades
Delos, or Samos, first appearing kens 265
A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight
He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky
Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing
Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air; till within soar 270
Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems
A phoenix, gaz'd by all, as that sole bird,
When, to inshrine his reliques in the sun's
249 ardours] l ardours,' mean the 'seraphim.' It is one of the words used by Dante for angels. Todd. 266 prone] Virg. Mn. iv. 253.
'Toto prasceps se corpore ad undas
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on th' eastern cliff of paradise 275
He lights, and to his proper shape returns
A seraph wing'd: six wings he wore, to shade
His lineaments divine; the pair that clad
Each shoulder broad came mantling o'er his breast
With regal ornament; the middle pair 280
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round
Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold
And colours dipp'd in heaven; the third his feet
Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail
Sky-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood, 285
277 shade] Statii. Silv. iii. 4. 30.
'Ex humeris nullae fulgentibus, umhrce.'' 281 starry zone] Compare Marino's SI. of the Innocents, p. 50, st. xcvi. describing an angel.
* When in celestial colours art contends
With azure gold, and white with purest red.
For skirts girt at the waste, then each depends
Loosely, nor further than the knees are spread.
Which, lest thy waving be too much display'd,
A golden clasp restrains, with gems inlay'd.
Extended on his shining back a pair
Of ample wings their glorious colours show;
Most choice perfumes enrich his curling hair,
And to the air the graceful tresses flow,' &c.
285 son] See Dante, II. Purg. c. 8.
'E vidi uscir dell' alto, e scender giue
Du' Angeli con due spade allocate,
Verdi, come fogliette pur mo nate,
Erano 'n veste, che da verdi penne
Percosse tradn dietro e ventilate.
Andshook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill'd
The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands
Of angels under watch; and to his state, 233
And to his message high, in honour rise;
For on some message high they guess'd him bound.
Their glittering tents he pass'd, and now is come
Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flow'ring odors, cassia, nard, and balm;
A wilderness of sweets; for nature here
Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will 295
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet, Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss.
Him through the spicy forest onward come
Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat
Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun 300
Shot down direct his fervid rays, to warm [needs;
Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam
And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'd
For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not disrelish thirst sos
Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream,
Berry, or grape; to whom thus Adam call'd.
Haste hither, Eve, and worth thy sight behold
Sannaz de Partu Virg. i. 107.
'ingentes explicat alas
Ac tectis late insuetum diffundit odorem.1 and Fairfax's Tasso, lib. i. st. 14. Newton. Todd. 306 milky stream] v. Apulei Metam. i. p. 27. ed. Delph. 1 En, inquam, explere latice fontes lacteoS Beaumont/s Psyche, c. iii. st. 56.
'And from the milkie shore of the next spring!'
Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape
Comes this way moving, seems another morn 310
Ris'n on mid-noon; some great behest from heaven
To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe
This day to be our guest. But go with speed,
And what thy stores contain bring forth, and pour
Abundance, fit to honour and receive 315
Our heavenly stranger; well we may afford
Our givers their-own gifts, and large bestow
From large bestow'd, where nature multiplies
Her fertil growth, and by disburd'ning grows
More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare. 320
To whom thus Eve. Adam, earth's hallow'd
Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store
All seasons ripe for use hangs on the stalk;
Save what by frugal storing firmness gains
To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes. 325
But I will haste, and from each bough and brake,
Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such
To entertain our angel guest, as he [choice Beholding shall confess, that here on earth
God hath dispens'd his bounties as in heaven. 330
309 what] See Dante, II Purgatorio, c. xii.
1 Vedi cola un' Angel, che s' appresta
Per venir verso noi.'
810 morn] See Crashaw's Delights, p. 52.
'Who's this that comes arched in rayes that scorn
Acquaintance with the Sun? What second morn
At midday opes a presence?'